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Defining Family Relationships in Spanish

In Latin America, the family is the basic unit of Spanish society. People work, live, and function in consonance with their families. When visiting your Spanish-speaking neighbors, you’ll be more comfortable if you pay attention to the way Latinos stress the importance of the family and of family relationships.

The following list gives basic names for family members:

  • padre (pah-dreh) (father)

  • madre (mah-dreh) (mother)

  • hijo (ee-Hoh) (son)

  • hija (ee-Hah) (daughter)

  • hermano (ehr-mah-noh) (brother)

  • hermana (ehr-mah-nah) (sister)

  • yerno (yehr-noh) (son-in-law)

  • nuera (nooeh-rah) (daughter-in-law)

  • nieto (neeeh-toh) (grandson)

  • nieta (neeeh-tah) (granddaughter)

  • cuñado (koo-nyah-doh) (brother-in-law)

  • cuñada (koo-nyah-dah) (sister-in-law)

  • primo (pree-moh) (cousin [male])

  • prima (pree-mah) (cousin [female])

  • padrino (pah-dree-noh) (godfather)

  • madrina (mah-dree-nah) (godmother)

  • tío (teeoh) (uncle)

  • tía (teeah) (aunt)

  • abuelo (ah-bvooeh-loh) (grandfather)

  • abuela (ah-bvooeh-lah) (grandmother)

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