Languages › Spanish Talking About Your Family There Are Even Words for Parents of a Child's Spouse Share Flipboard Email Print Thomas Barwick/Getty Images Spanish Vocabulary History & Culture Pronunciation Writing Skills Grammar By Gerald Erichsen Spanish Language Expert B.A., Seattle Pacific University Gerald Erichsen is a Spanish language expert who has created Spanish lessons for ThoughtCo since 1998. our editorial process Gerald Erichsen Updated November 04, 2019 Who are the members of your family, how many are there, and what do they do? These are among the first questions you may be asked when you meet and first become acquainted with a native Spanish speaker. Depending on your age, you may be asked about your parents and what they do for a living, or you may be asked if you are married or have any children. Learn the words to describe your family members, then bring a photo along, and even if you're a beginner and know only simple grammar, you'll be able to engage in conversation. Gender and Family Members Masculine plurals in Spanish can refer to mixed groups of males and females. Thus, cuatro hijos can mean either "four sons" or "four children," depending on the context. While it may sound strange to the ear attuned to English, padres is a grammatically correct way to refer to both a mother and father, even though padre alone refers to a father. Also, note that the word pariente means "relative" in general; the Spanish-English cognate doesn't refer only to parents. Vocabulary of the Family Following are the names for the most common relatives and some of the uncommon ones: Padre: fatherMadre: motherHermano: brotherHermana: sisterSuegro: father-in-lawSuegra: mother-in-lawCuñado: brother-in-lawCuñada: sister-in-lawEsposo, marido: husbandEsposa, mujer: wifeAbuelo: grandfatherAbuela: grandmotherBisabuelo: great-grandfatherBisabuela: great-grandmotherTatarabuelo: great-great-grandfatherTatarabuela: great-great-grandmotherHijo: sonHija: daughterNieto: grandsonNieta: granddaughterBisnieto: great-grandsonBisnieta: great-granddaughterTataranieto: great-great-grandsonTataranieta: great-great-granddaughterTío: uncleTía: auntTío abuelo: great-uncleTía abuela: great-auntPrimo: cousin (male)Prima: cousin (female)Primo carnal, prima carnal, primo hermano, prima hermana: first cousinPrimo segundo, prima segunda: second cousinSobrino: nephewSobrina: niecePadrastro: stepfatherMadrastra: stepmotherHijastro: stepsonHijastra: stepdaughterHermanastro: stepbrotherHermanastra: stepsisterMedio hermano, hermano de padre, hermano de madre: half brotherMedia hermana, hermana de padre, hermana de madre: half sisterConcuñado: husband of one's spouse's sisterConcuñada: wife of one's spouse's brotherConsuegro: father-in-law of one's son or daughterConsuegra: mother-in-law of one's son or daughterPrometido, novio: fiance, boyfriend, groomPrometida, novia: fiancée, girlfriend, brideCompañero: male partner in a couple relationshipCompañera: female partner in a couple relationshipPadrino: godfatherMadrina: godmotherAhijado: godsonAhijada: goddaughterAmigo: friend (male)Amiga: friend (female)Conocido: acquaintance (male)Conocida: acquaintance (female) Miscellaneous Family Terms La familia política or los políticos may be used as the equivalent of "the in-laws." The terms refer to people to whom one is related by marriage. (In a different context, políticos can also refer to politicians.) The term amigovio or amigovia can be used colloquially in some areas to refer to a person with whom another person has a romantic or sexual relationship that hasn't necessarily been formalized, such as a "friend with benefits" or a live-in lover, where there isn't necessarily an expectation of marriage. This is a word of fairly recent origin, so its meaning isn't uniform in all areas. Note that while marido refers to a husband, there is no corresponding feminine form, marida, in standard use. Sample Sentences Referring to Family Members Here are some simple sample sentences you can use as models for your own: Spanish Sentence English Translation Mi padre es carpintero. My father is a carpenter. Mi tía es dentista. My aunt is a dentist. Mi madre es ama de casa. My mother is a housewife. Tengo dos hermanos y una hermana. I have two brothers and a sister. Tengo cuatro hermanos. This sentence can be seen as ambiguous by English speakers. It can be correctly translated as either "I have four brothers" or "I have four siblings." Tengo nueve tíos. "I have nine aunts and uncles" or "I have nine uncles." Mi madrastra vive en el estado de Nueva York. My stepmother lives in New York state. Mis sobrinas viven en Chicago. My nieces live in Chicago. Mi padre está muerto. My father is dead. Mi prima está muerta. My female cousin is dead. Mi madre está viva. My mother is alive. Otto y Edith Frank fueron los padres de Ana Frank. Otto and Edith Frank were the parents of Anne Frank. Los primos no pueden casarse según nuestra cultura. Cousins cannot marry according to our culture. Los suegras Siempre tienen mala reputación. Mothers-in-law always have a bad reputation. 33 Spanish Words To Learn for Thanksgiving The Names of 53 Zoo Animals in Spanish The Spanish Word for ‘Emails’ Is ... ‘Emails’!?!? 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