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This page introduces vocabulary used for speaking about family relatives and uses a family tree as an example. Begin by learning family relationships:

Relatives: Definitions

son - male of parents
daughter - female of parents
sister - female born of same parents
brother - male born of same parents
husband - male in marriage
wife - female in marriage
father - male parent of children
mother - female parent of children
uncle - brother of children's parent
aunt - sister of children's parent
niece - daughter of sister or brother
nephew - son of sister or brother
cousin - daughter or son of aunt or uncle
grandfather - male parent of children's parent
grandmother - female parent of children's parent
great-grandfather - male parent of children's children's parent
great-grandmother - female parent of children's children's parent

Family Tree

Tim's Story

My name is Tim Jackson and this is my family tree. As you can see, this portion of my family tree follows the family of Jonathan Adams my great-grandfather. Boxes are for males and circles are for females. Great-grandfather Adams' side of the family is in blue and people who married into the family are in yellow. Family members are all labeled by their relationship to me. You might also notice that women are listed with their birth names, rather than their married names. Here are the relationships that are labeled on the chart:

My Relatives

  • Jonathan Adams is my great-grandfather.
  • Elizabeth Smith is my great-grandmother.
  • Jennifer Adams is my great aunt.
  • Annabelle Adams is my grandmother.
  • Greg Jackson is my grandfather.
  • Peter Jackson is my father.
  • Margaret Tweed is my mother.
  • Susan Jackson is my sister.
  • Angela Rossi is my wife.
  • Katherine Jackson is my daughter.
  • Scott Jackson is my son.

Here are some other statements that can be made about the family relationships in this chart.

Other Relative's Connections

Katherine Jackson is Margaret Tweed's granddaughter.
Susan Jackson is my wife's sister-in-law.
Katherine is Susan's niece.
My Grandmother had one sister whose name was Jennifer.
My mother married into the family represented on this family tree.
Peter is Jennifer's nephew.
Scott is Katherine's brother, our son, Peter and Margaret's grandson, Annabella and Greg's great-grandson, and Johnathan and Elizabeth's great-great grandson!
Greg Jackson is Margaret Tweed's father-in-law.
My sister Susan doesn't have any children. When she does I will be their uncle.


  1. Draw your own family tree and write 10 sentences or more based on the relationships in your own family.
  2. Take a look at this chart and name more relationships!
  3. Take the family-tree quiz to test your knowledge of family relationships.
  4. Teachers can use this lesson on family relationships with upper level classes.
  5. If this page was too easy for you, try this vocabulary activity about a dysfunctional family for a challenge.
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