RELATED VOCABULARY: Talking about family

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In this lesson, we are focusing on vocabulary used to describe families – the relationships between people, the structure and type of family and more.
IELTS vocabulary for familyTake a look at the list below. How many words do you know? We will soon be adding vocabulary exercises to these pages, but for now, we hope the lists help!
Family connections

  • Siblings – brothers or sisters
  • Immediate family – generally considered to be siblings, parents and children. However, some people also include grandparents in this list
  • Extended family – people with a connection to you within the family tree (aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews etc).

Types of family

  • A nuclear family – a couple and their children (considered to be the ‘average’ family structure). Statistically, a ‘nuclear family’ can currently has one mother, one father and 2.2 children – the average family unit)
  • A matriarchal family – (can also be used to describe a society) – where the mother/female is considered to be the most important person
  • A patriarchal family (can also be used to describe a society) – where the father/male is considered to be the most important person
  • Single parent family – where the child/children has only a mother or father
  • Same-sex parents – these are parents who are either both male (gay) or female (lesbian).

Connecting families and people

  • Genealogy – studying the family history back into the past, often by hundreds and even thousands of years, to see where someone’s bloodline originally came from
  • Family tree – a diagram that represents all the members of a family
  • Lineage – the sequence of people before you (father > grandfather > great grandfather and so on).

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