French Classroom:French Family Vocabulary

Let’s Talk about Family! Spoken French This lesson will give you the vocabulary to do just that. Let’s get started!

English French IPA
family la famille /la famij/
father père /pɛʁ/
dad, daddy papa /papa/
mother mère /mɛʁ/
mom, mommy, mum maman /mɑmɑ̃/
parents / relatives les parents /lɛ paʁɑ̃/
sister sœur /sɶʁ/
brother frère /fʁʁ/
siblings la fratrie /la fʁa.tʁi/
children les enfants /lɛ‿zɑ̃fɑ̃/
baby le bébé /lə bebe/
son fils /fis/
daughter fille /fij/
husband mari /maʁi/
husband / male spouse époux /epu/
wife femme /fam/
wife / female spouse épouse /epuz/
grandmother grand-mère /gʁɑ̃mɛʁ/
grandfather grand-père /gʁɑ̃pɛʁ/
grandson petit-fils /pə.ti.fis/
granddaughter petite-fille /pə.tit.fij
uncle oncle /ɔ̃kl/
aunt tante /tɑ̃t/
nephew neveu /nəvø/
niece nièce /njɛs/
cousin (male) cousin /kuzɛ̃/
cousin (female) cousine /kuzin/
stepfather / father-in-law beau-père /bo.pɛʁ/
stepmother / mother-in-law belle-mère /bɛl.mɛʁ/
stepbrother / brother-in-law beau-frère /bo.fʁɛʁ/
stepsister / sister-in-law belle-sɶur /bɛl.sɶʁ/
half-brother demi-frère /dəmi.fʁɛʁ/
half-sister demi-sɶur /dəmisɶʁ/
son-in-law gendre (beau-fils) /ʒɑ̃dʁ/ (/
daughter-in-law bru (belle-fille) /bʁy/ (/bɛl.fij/)
godfather parrain /paʁɛ̃/
godmother marraine /maʁɛn/
godson filleul /fijɶl/
goddaughter filleule /fijɶl/


English French IPA
married marié(e) /maʁje/
single célibataire /selibatɛʁ/
divorced divorcé(e) /divɔʁse/
separated séparé(e) /sepaʁe/
widowed veuf/veuve /vɶf/, /vɶv/


English French IPA
to marry marier, épouser /maʁje/, /epuze/
to adopt adopter /adɔpte/

Family Trees

Imagine your own family tree. What would it look like? It may help to imagine a French family to try out some new French vocabulary. While we look at the family imagined here, think of your own and see if any of the new words might apply.The word for family in French is une famille, (oon fah-mee).Speak French Start with Sandrine. She lives in Bordeaux, in southwest France, with her immediate family. C’est Sandrine! ‘This is Sandrine’. She has two parents. The word for parents in French is very similar to our own: des parents, (day par-ahn). She has a mother, une mère, (oon mehr), and a father,un père, (uhn pehr). In French, you might also hear the familiar forms of these words, Maman, (Mah-mahn), and Papa, (Pah-pah). Her family has four children in it. The word in French for children is des enfants, (dayz ahn-fahn). Sandrine has two sisters. The word for sister is unesœur, (oon sör). She has one brother, un frère, (uhn frehr). He is the baby, le bébé, (luh bay-bay). When we say that Sandrine has two sisters and one brother, it also tells us that her parents have three daughters and one son. The word for daughter is une fille, (oon fee), and the word for son is un fils, (uhn fees).French Classes What about your family tree? How is it like Sandrine’s? How is it different? Let’s practice a tiny bit with this vocabulary, so you can see how you might apply it to yourself. To say, ‘I have children,’ you would say, J’ai des enfants. If you’d like to say, ‘I have a son and a daughter. I also have a sister and a brother,’ you might say, ‘J’ai un fils et une fille. J’ai aussi (also) une sœur et un frère.’ Notice the expression J’ai, (jay). It means ‘I have’. If you like to make it negative (to say you don’t have any), you’ll change it to je n’ai pas de, (juh nay pah duh) as in, Je n’ai pas de filles. ‘I don’t have any daughters’.

Extended Family

Let’s add some members to Sandrine’s family. Sandrine’s extended family lives further east, in the Burgundy region. Sandrine, like many of us, has grandparents. She’s their grandd aughter. Let’s see that same idea in French: see if you can find the word for grandparents in the first sentence! Sandrine a des grand-parents. Sandrine est leur petite-fille. If you guessed that des grand-parents, (day grah-pah-rahn), was the French word for grandparents, you were right! She has a grandmother, une grand-mère, (oon grahn-mehr), and a grandfather, un grand-père, (uhn grahn-pehr). The word for granddaughter, as you can see it in the sentence above, is une petite-fille. For grandson, it’s unpetit-fils. And for grandchildren, it’s des petits-enfants, (day puh-teez ahn-fahn).   Sandrine also has aunts, uncles, and cousins. Her favorite aunt is une tante, (oon tahnt), or Tata, in the familiar form, as we might say Auntie. Her closest uncle is un oncle, (uhn ohn-cl), or Tonton, in the most familiar form. A male cousin is un cousin, (uhn coo-zan), and a female cousin is une cousine, (oon coo-zeen).


married marié(e)
single célibataire
divorced divorcé(e)
separated separé(e)
widowed veuf/veuve

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