English-German Glossary About Family and Relations

Cheerful family taking selfie

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Learning how to talk about your family is a great lesson for beginners in German. These vocabulary words are ones that you can practice in your daily life and before you know it they'll be committed to your memory.

The family (die Familie) glossary is filled with words that can help you describe your parents, siblings, and extended family members. It goes beyond those basic relatives and includes many specific terms such as partner, family tree, blended family, and much more.

The Family (die Familie) Annotated English-German Glossary

The glossary is structured so you can easily find the German vocabulary you're looking for. It's in alphabetical order based on the English words, and the German includes the necessary gender options and, quite often, the plural (p), so you can use them in various contexts.

You'll also find helpful tips throughout the glossary. These annotations can clue you into special terms and usages for certain German words.

ancestor - ancestorsder Vorfahre/die Vorfahrin - die Vorfahren
aunt - auntsdie Tante - die Tanten
baby - babiesdas Baby - die Babys
blended family (-ies)die Fortsetzungsfamilie (-n)
Blended family: e.g., a continuing family, serial family, a family with children from a previous marriage.
boy - boysder Junge - die Jungen
brother - brothersder Bruder - die Brüder
brother-in-law - brothers-in-lawder Schwager - die Schwäger
child - children
  We have no children.
  We have three children.
das Kind - die Kinder
  Wir haben keine Kinder.
  Wir haben drei Kinder.
cousin (f.) - cousinsdie Kusine - die Kusinen
die Base (an old-fashioned term)
cousin (m.) - cousinsder Cousin - die Cousins
der Vetter - die Vettern
dad - dadsder Vati - die Vatis
daughter - daughtersdie Tochter - die Töchter
daughter-in-law - daughters-in-lawdie Schwiegertochter - die Schwiegertöchter
family - familiesdie Familie - die Familien
family tree - family treesder Stammbaum - die Stammbäume
die Stammtafel - die Stammtafeln
die Ahnentafel - die Ahnentafeln
father - fathersder Vater - die Väter
forefather - forefathersder Vorfahre/die Vorfahrin - die Vorfahren
genealogydie Genealogie, die Ahnenforschung
girl - girlsdas Mädchen - die Mädchen
Mädchen, like all German nouns ending in -chen or -lein, is neuter gender even though it means "girl." A similar example would das Fräulein for "miss" or an unmarried woman.
grandchild - grandchildrendas Enkelkind - die Enkelkinder
granddaughter - granddaughtersdie Enkelin - die Enkelinnen
die Enkeltochter - die Enkeltöchter
grandfather - grandfathersder Großvater - die Großväter
grandmother - grandmothersdie Großmutter - die Großmütter
grandma/granny - grandmasdie Oma - die Omas
grandpa/gramps - grandpasder Opa - die Opas
grandparentsdie Großeltern (Pl.)
grandson - grandsonsder Enkel - die Enkel
der Enkelsohn - die Enkelsöhne
greatgrandfather(s)der Urgroßvater (-väter)
great- (prefix)Ur- (as in Urgroßmutter)
half brother - half brothersder Halbbruder - die Halbbrüder
half sister - half sistersdie Halbschwester - die Halbschwestern
husbandder Mann, Ehemann
die (Ehe)Männer (Pl.)
Marital Statusder Familienstand
  bachelor  der Junggeselle
  divorced (adj.)  geschieden
  divorcee  der/die Geschiedene
  married (adj.)  verheiratet
  single, unmarried (adj.)  ledig, unverheiratet
  widowed (adj.)  verwitwet
  widow  die Witwe
  widower  der Witwer
mom - momsdie Mutti - die Muttis
mother - mothersdie Mutter - die Mütter
nephew - nephewsder Neffe - die Neffen
niece - niecesdie Nichte - die Nichten
parentsdie Eltern (Pl.)
partner (m.) - partnersder Partner - die Partner
partner (f.) - partnersdie Partnerin - die Partnerinnen
to be related to someonemit jemandem verwandt sein
the relations, relativesdie Verwandtschaft
relative - relativesder/die Verwandte - die Verwandten
  all my/our/the relatives  die ganze Verwandtschaft
  to be one of the family  zur Verwandtschaft gehören
  We're not related.  Wir sind nicht verwandt.
siblings / brothers & sistersdie Geschwister (Pl.)
"Do you have any brothers or sisters? = "Haben Sie Geschwister?"
significant other, life partnerder Lebensgefährte / die Lebensgefährtin
In addition to Lebensgefährte, another word for "significant other" or "life partner" is Partner (above).
sister - sistersdie Schwester - die Schwestern
sister-in-law - sisters-in-lawdie Schwägerin - die Schwägerinnen
son - sonsder Sohn - die Söhne
son-in-law - sons-in-lawder Schwiegersohn - die Schwiegersöhne
stepfather - stepfathersder Stiefvater - die Stiefväter
stepdaughter - stepdaughtersdie Stieftochter - die Stieftöchter
stepmother - stepmothersdie Stiefmutter - die Stiefmütter
stepson - stepsonsder Stiefsohn - die Stiefsöhne
step- (prefix)Stief- (as in Stiefbruder, etc.)
uncle - unclesder Onkel - die Onkel
wife - wivesdie Frau, Ehefrau - die (Ehe)Frauen