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How to Talk about Your Family in Chinese

Oct. 13, 2015
Talk about Your Family in Chinese

Family plays an important role in every culture, and it is a topic you will certainly cover when learning any new language. As you might guess, there are many terms used to describe relationships in a Chinese family, which can be quite confusing because terms differ depending on the side of the family. So how do you refer to your family members in Chinese, and how can you introduce them to others? Let’s find out! First, we need to learn what to call each family member.

Talk about Your Family in Chinese


Grandparents’ Generation
Relationship Chinese Pinyin Recording
Father’s father 爷爷 yéye
Father’s mother 奶奶 nǎinai
Mother’s father 外公 wàigōng
Mother’s mother 外婆 wàipó
Parents’ Generation
Relationship Chinese Pinyin Recording
Father 爸爸 bàba
Father’s elder brother 伯伯 bóbo
Father’s younger brother 叔叔 shūshu
Father’s (elder/younger) sister 姑姑 gūgu
Mother 妈妈 māma
Mother’s (elder/younger) brother 舅舅 jiùjiu
Mother’s (elder/younger) sister 姨妈 yímā
Your Generation
Relationship Chinese Pinyin Recording
Elder brother 哥哥 gēge
Younger brother 弟弟 dìdi
Elder sister 姐姐 jiějie
Younger sister 妹妹 mèimei
Children’s Generation
Relationship Chinese Pinyin Recording
Son 儿子 érzi
Son’s wife 媳妇 xífù
Daughter 女儿 nǚ’ér
Daughter’s husband 女婿 nǚxù
Grandchildren’s Generation
Relationship Chinese Pinyin Recording
Grandson 孙子 sūnzi
Grandson’s wife 孙媳妇 sūnxífù
Granddaughter 孙女 sūnnǚ
Granddaughter’s husband 孙女婿 sūnnǚxù

(Learn how to call your family members in Chinese through: The Family Song家族歌(jiāzú gē))

The next step is to learn how to use the words we have just learned in the following simple sentence structures:

Zhè shì wǒ(de) ….
1. 这    是  我(的) ……。
This is my ….

Tā/tā shì wǒ(de) ….
2. 他/她 是  我(的) ……。
He/She is my ….

Wǒ yǒu … gè ….
3. 我   有 …… 个 ……。
I have ……. Wǒ(de) … shì ….

Wǒ(de) … shì ….
4. 我(的) …… 是 ……。
My … is a ….

Examples:

Zhè shì wǒde māma.
这    是   我的  妈妈。
This is my mom.

Tā shì wǒde gēge.
他  是  我的  哥哥。
He is my elder brother.

Wǒ yǒu liǎnggè nǚ’ér.
我   有    两个     女儿。
I have two daughters.

Wǒ érzi shì yīsheng.
我  儿子 是  医生。
My son is a doctor.

Quiz:

1. What should you call your father’s sister in Chinese?

A. “姑姑(gūgu)”
B. “奶奶(nǎinai)”
C. “媳妇(xífù)”

2. If you want to tell others you have a younger brother in Chinese, you should say _____.

A. “他是我的弟弟。(Tā shì wǒde dìdi.)”
B. “这是我的弟弟。(Zhè shì wǒde dìdi.)”
C. “我有一个弟弟。(Wǒ yǒu yígè dìdi.)”

See Answer Analysis

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