Lesson 06 我爱我的家 Interactive Vocabulary Games and Videos

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Lesson 6 我爱我的家

Learn Family Member Vocabulary in Chinese



Some Culture About Chinese Families

Naming family members in Chinese is complicated due to the Confucian emphasis on relationships and hierarchy. Chinese culture is traditionally hierarchical where member of a Chinese family has a unique title and has a specific place within the family.  The different titles define a person’s position within the family.  Chinese people hold the family bonds as sacred and honor them accordingly.  Traditional, the man or the head of the family is responsible for earning the bread of his family. This responsibility also endows him with complete authority and the final say in the affairs of the family.  The Chinese family roles have been influenced through the philosophy of Confucianism. In fact, the philosophy dictates how to choose a mate to dealing with your children.


lesson 6 family members picture in chinese

For example, you can see from the picture above that there are distinct terms for younger and older siblings as well as paternal and maternal grandparents.  Having different titles also applies to extended family, such as aunts, uncles, and cousins.  For example, while the term 姨妈 (yímā) refers to maternal aunts and 姑妈 (gūmā) refers to paternal aunts.

Learning family titles can be difficult when learning Chinese, therefore it is important to learn the main ones as shown in the additional vocabulary sheet for lesson 6.  Remember, the different titles reflect the importance of clearly defining relationships within a Chinese family.

Chinese Family Member Titles


father’s father    祖父 zǔfù,爷爷 yéye
father’s mother  祖母 zǔmǔ ,奶奶 nǎinɑi
mother’s father  外祖父 wàizǔfù,外公 wàiɡōnɡ,姥爷 lǎoye
mother’s mother 外祖母 wàizǔmǔ,外婆 wàipó,姥姥 lǎolɑo
father   父亲 fùqin,爸爸 bàbɑ
mother 母亲 mǔqin,妈妈 māmɑ

father’s elder brother  伯父 bófù
father’s elder brother’s wife  伯母 bómǔ
father’s little brother  叔叔 shūshu
father’s little brother’s wife 婶婶 shěnshěn
father’s sister 姑姑 ɡūɡu,姑妈 ɡūmā
father’s sister’s husband 姑父 ɡūfu,姑丈 ɡūzhànɡ

mother’s brother 舅舅 jiùjiu
mother’s sister-in-law  舅妈 jiùmā
mother’s sister  姨妈 yímā
mother’s brother-in-law 姨丈 yízhànɡ,姨夫 yífù

elder brother 哥哥 ɡēɡē
little brother  弟弟 dìdi
elder sister  姐姐 jiějie
elder sister 妹妹 mèimei

son of father’s brother  堂兄弟 tánɡxiōnɡdì
daughter of father’s brother 堂姐妹 tánɡjiěmèi
the other cousin 表兄弟(male)biǎoxiōnɡdì,表姐妹(female) biǎojiěmèi

son 儿子 érzi
daughter 女儿 nǚér
daughter-in-law 儿媳 érxí
son-in-law 女婿 nǚxù

son of son 孙子 sūnzi
daughter of son 孙女 sūnnǚ
son of daughter 外孙 wàisūn
daughter of daughter 外孙女 wàisūnnǚ

brother’s son 侄子 zhízi
brother’s dughter 侄女 zhínǚ
sister’s son 外甥 wàishēnɡ
sister’s daughter 外甥女 wàishēnɡnǚ




Practice the vocabulary for this lesson with games and activities! Click on the picture below to download all the words in PDF.

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Directions: Rearrange the words into complete sentences.  Make sure to include punctuation marks.

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