How to Talk About Your Family in Italian

Learn phrases and vocabulary for chatting about your family

Family eating together in Italy
Family eating together in Italy. Cultura RM Exclusive/Zero Creatives / Getty Images

While Italians are passionate about a lot of things—food, calcio, fashion, to name a few—family is one of the most important.

Since it is such an essential part of Italian culture, you’re going to be asked about your family when you start to chat with natives, and it’s a great conversation starter.

So what specific vocabulary words do you need to know, and which phrases will help the conversation flow smoothly?

Basic Vocabulary - Family Members

aunt

la zia

boy

il ragazzo

brother

il fratello

brother–in–law

il cognato

cousin (female)

la cugina

cousin (male)

il cugino

daughter

la figlia

daughter–in–law

la nuora

family

la famiglia

father

il padre

father–in–law

il suocero

girl

la ragazza

grandchild

il nipote

granddaughter

la nipote

grandfather

il nonno

grandmother

la nonna

grandparents

i nonni

grandson

il nipote

husband

il marito

mother

la madre

mother–in–law

la suocera

nephew

il nipote

niece

la nipote

parents

i genitori

relative

il parente

sister

la sorella

sister–in–law

la cognata

son

il figlio

son–in–law

il genero

stepfather

il patrigno

stepmother

la matrigna

step brother; half brother

il fratellastro

step sister; half sister

la sorellastra

uncle

lo zio

wife

la moglie

Conversational Phrases

  • A casa tutto bene? - Is everything good at home?

"A casa" here is used as in a figurative way to mean, “family”.

Another option is to ask: Come sta la sua famiglia? - How is your family?

If you want to ask informally, you can say, “Come sta la tua famiglia?”

  • Come stanno i suoi? - How are your (parents)?

If you want to ask informally, you can say, “Come stanno i tuoi?”

FUN FACT: Italians shorten “i tuoi genitori” to “i tuoi”, so you can say “i miei” instead of “i miei genitori” and sound more Italian.

  • Ha fratelli o sorelle? - Do you have brothers or sisters?

If you want to ask informally, you can say, “Hai fratelli o sorelle?"

  • Ha dei figli? - Do you have any kids?

If you want to ask informally, you can say, “Hai dei figli?”

  • Ho due maschi e una femmina. - I have two boys and one girl.

  • Si chiama… - His/her name is...

  • Hai una famiglia numerosa! - You have a big family!

  • Sono figlio unico. - I’m an only child. (male)

  • Sono figlia unica. - I’m an only child. (female)

  • Lei è sposato/a? - Are you married?

If you want to ask informally, you can say, “Sei sposato/a?”. Use “sposato”, ending in -o, if you’re asking a male. Use “sposata,” ending in -a, if you’re asking a female.

  • La mia famiglia viene dalla (Sardegna). - My family is from (Sardegna).

  • Mio figlio si è appena laureato! - My son just graduated!

  • Vado a trovare la mia famiglia (in Calabria). - I’m going to visit my family (in Calabria).

  • Che lavoro fa (tuo marito)? - What does your husband do for work?

  • Mia madre fa (l’insegnante). - My mother is a (teacher).

  • Dove abita? - Where does he/she live?

  • Le presento (mio marito). -  Let me introduce my husband to you.

If you want to say this informally, you can say, “Ti presento (mia moglie)”.

  • Mi saluti sua moglie! - Say hello to your wife for me!

    If you want to say this informally, you can say, “Salutami (tua moglie)!”.

    Need to refresh your memory about the differences between informal and formal speech? Take a look at this article.

    Finally, the best way to learn the language is to see the phrases and the vocabulary in action, so below you’ll find a practice dialogue between two friends who have run into each other on the street.

    Practice Dialogue

    Person 1: Ciao! Come stai? - Hey! How are you?

    Person 2: Sto bene, e tu? - I’m doing well, and you?

    Person 1: Tutto a posto, come sta la tua famiglia? - Everything is good, how is your family?

    Person 2: Sta bene, mia figlia si è appena laureata! - They are good, my daughter just graduated!

    Person 1: Complimenti!! E tuo marito? - Congratulations!! And your husband?

    Person 2: Lavora moltissimo, ma andrà in pensione fra un anno. E tua figlia? - He’s working a lot, but he’ll be retiring in a year.

    And your daughter?

    Person 1: Giulia? La settimana scorsa ha compiuto sedici anni. - Giulia? Last week she turned sixteen-years-old.

    Person 2: Davvero? Lei è cresciuta troppo in fretta! - Really? She grew up too fast!

    Person 1: Lo so, è così. Allora, devo andare, è stato bello vederti, a presto! - I know, that’s how it is. Well, I’ve got to go, it was great to see, talk soon!

    Person 2: A presto! - Talk soon!