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Family Members in Spanish

Let's talk about family! Do you know how to say words like "father" or "cousin" in Spanish? Today, we will learn how to say the names of the most important family members in Spanish. In particular, we will see how to write and pronounce those names. Let's take a look.

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How do you say family in Spanish?

Familia is the Spanish word for family. It is important to say that this is a feminine collective noun. Collective nouns are words that we use for particular groups. However, these nouns are treated as singular words. Let's see how this works:

 

Mi familia es pequeña y cálida.

My family is small and warm.

Considerando que "familia" es un sustantivo colectivo femenino,

Considering that "familia" is a feminine collective noun,

conjugamos el verbo en tercera persona del singular

we conjugate the verb in third person singular

y utilizamos adjetivos femeninos, "pequeña" y "cálida",

and use feminine adjectives, "pequeña" [small] and "cálida" [warm],

para elaborar la concordancia de manera correcta.

to create agreement in the correct way.

Captions 16-20, Carlos explica - Sustantivos colectivos

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List of family members in Spanish

The following are the names of the most important family member in Spanish.

 

Madre (Mother)

 

Comes bastante verdura, tu madre que te quiere.

Eat enough vegetables, your mother who loves you.

Caption 38, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam

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Very often, however, people refer to their mothers using the following terms:

 

Mamá, quería preguntarte algo.

Mom, I wanted to ask you something.

Caption 2, Yago - 10 Enfrentamientos - Part 7

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OR

 

¿Haciendo la tarea con mami? -Sí.

Doing your homework with Mommy? -Yes.

Caption 24, Yago - 11 Prisión - Part 5

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Padre (Father)

 

"A mi padre siempre le toca trabajar mucho todos los viernes".

"My father always has to work a lot every Friday."

Caption 53, Carlos explica - Vocabulario: El verbo “tocar”

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However, just like for the word "mother", there are some other terms people use when talking with or about their fathers:

 

Fue cuando me di cuenta no tenía ni idea de lo que hacía mi papá.

It was then that I realized I had no idea what my dad did.

Caption 30, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3 - Part 3

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OR

 

Papi, cualquier hora es buena.

Daddy, any hour is good.

Caption 5, X6 1 - La banda

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Hijo (Son)

 

Quiero presentarles a mi hijo; Kevin, él es Felipe.

I want to introduce you to my son; Kevin, this is Felipe.

Caption 16, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3 - Part 6

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Hija (Daughter)

 

Y muy feliz de tener a mi lado a mi hija.

And very happy to have my daughter by my side.

Caption 38, Yolimar Gimón - sobre el concurso Mrs. Venezuela

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Hermano (Brother)

 

Después aquí tengo a mi hermano, José.

Then here I have my brother, Jose.

Caption 11, Curso de español - Vamos a hablar de la familia

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Hermana (Sister)

 

...pero que estaba alejando a mi hermana de nosotros.

...but it was taking my sister away from us.

Caption 21, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4

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Abuelo (Grandfather)

 

¡Abuelo, abuelo!

Grandpa, Grandpa!

Caption 9, Guillermina y Candelario - Un regalo de Estrellas

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Abuela (Grandmother)

 

Abuela, podemos hablar dos minutos por favor.

Grandmother, can we talk for two minutes, please.

Caption 4, Muñeca Brava - 18 - La Apuesta

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Nieto (Grandson)

 

Mi nieto no existe.

My grandson does not exist.

Caption 53, Muñeca Brava - 33 El partido

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Nieta (Granddaughter)

 

La nieta de María.

Maria's granddaughter.

Caption 30, Zoraida en Coro - El pintor Yepez

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Tío (Uncle)

 

Y su tío Aldo cree que está muerto, su tío Lucio confía en que esté vivo.

And his Uncle Aldo believes that he's dead, his Uncle Lucio has faith that he's alive.

Caption 22, Yago - 8 Descubrimiento - Part 3

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Tía (Aunt)

 

Esa es mi tía Silvia.

That is my Aunt Silvia.

Caption 24, Español para principiantes - Demostrativos

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Sobrino (Nephew)

 

¿Hace cuánto tiempo que dejó de ver a su sobrino?

How long ago did you stop seeing your nephew?

Caption 69, Yago - 8 Descubrimiento - Part 1

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Sobrina (Niece)

 

Sobrina. Muy bien.

Niece. Very good.

Caption 43, Curso de español - Vamos a hablar de la familia

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Primo (Male cousin)

 

Sí, me gusta mucho mi primo Pedro.

Yes, I like my cousin Pedro very much.

Caption 40, El Aula Azul - Mis Primos

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Prima (Female cousin)

 

Esta mañana mi prima se ha roto la pierna jugando al fútbol.

This morning my cousin has broken her leg playing soccer.

Caption 15, Lecciones con Carolina - Participios - Ejemplos de uso

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Finally, keep in mind that when using the plural forms of these nouns, you should use the male form when the group is made of both male and female members:

 

Two cousins (both male):  Dos primos

Two cousins (both female): Dos primas 

Two cousing (one male and one female): Dos primos

 

That's it for today. We invite you to take a piece of paper and design your family tree with the names of the family members in Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

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Phrases with Lo

The Spanish word lo can be used as a subject pronoun, an object pronoun or a definite article. We have several lessons on the topic, which you can read by clicking hereLo is a very useful word, and there're many common phrases that use this particle. Let's study some examples. 

The phrase por lo tanto means "as a result" or "therefore"

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Este puerro, no lo he limpiado previamente, por lo tanto,

This leek, I haven't cleaned it previously, therefore,

vamos a limpiarlo.

we are going to clean it.

Caption 55, Cómetelo - Crema de brócoli

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The phrase por lo pronto means "for now" or "for the time being"
 

...y yo por lo pronto pienso avisarle a toda la familia.

...and I for the time being plan to let the whole family know.

Caption 18, Yago - 9 Recuperación

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The phrase por lo visto means "apparently"
 

Por lo visto fue en una perfumería.

Apparently it was in a perfume shop.

Caption 42, Yago - 12 Fianza

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The phrase por lo general is equivalent to the adverb generalmente. It means "generally"
 

Pero por lo general encontramos sistemas de alarmas.

But generally we find alarm systems.

Caption 11, Los Reporteros - Crecen los robos en tiendas

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The phrase a lo largo de means "throughout"
 

al menos va cambiando a lo largo de las estaciones.

at least is changing throughout the seasons.

Caption 10, Clara explica - El tiempo

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While a lo lejos means "at a distance" or "in the distance"

 

El cielo está nublado y a lo lejos

The sky is cloudy and in the distance you

Hablando de lo que te ha pasado.

Speaking of what has happened to you.

Captions 5-6, Christhian canta - Hombres G - Temblando

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In fact, you can add the phrase a lo to certain adjetives to talk about the way something is being done or someone is doing something. For example, a lo loco means "like crazy." 

 

Yo echo un poco de pintura ahí

I put a bit of paint there

a lo loco

like crazy [spontaneously]

Captions 92-93, Zoraida en Coro - El pintor Yepez

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Another common example is a lo tonto (like a dumb, in a dumb way, for nothing). 

Hazlo bien. No lo hagas a lo tonto.
Do it right. Don't do it foolishly.

¿Para qué esforzarse a lo tonto?
Why go to all that trouble for nothing?

This phrase always uses the neutral singular form of the adjective. Even if you are talking to a girl or a group of people, you will always use the same. For example:

Lucía siempre se enamora a lo tonto del primer hombre que cruza su camino.
Lucia always falls in love inanely with the first man that crosses her path.

In Mexico, you will also hear the expression al ahí se va (literally, "in a there-it-goes way")It means to do things without care, plan, or thinking. This is pronounced quite fast, by the way, almost as a single word. Translations vary: 

Completé el examen al ahí se va porque no estudié.
I completed the exam with mediocrity because I didn't study.

Tienen más hijos al ahí se va y sin planear en el futuro.
They have more kids without thinking and planning for the future.

Finally, there's the expression a la buena [voluntad] de Dios (leaving it to God's goodwill). You may find it in phrases involving the idea of entrusting what you do to God, but it's more commonly used to express that something is done rather haphazardly, without care, skill, effort and or plan.

El aeropuerto se construyó a la buena de Dios.
The airport was built haphazardly.

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