French Vocabulary: Family Members – Extended

French Vocabulary: Family Members – Extended

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French Vocabulary: Family Members – Extended
le vocabulaire français: les membres de la famille élargie

  • French has a term for every family member.
  • Forge stronger relationships and bonds with people.


Learning about French family members (la famille) means knowing the foundations of French-speaking people and culture! The family is often the core of every connection, tradition, and event in French daily life. Learning the names of the different family members will let you understand the bonds they share together!

As you would expect, the French words for family members reflect the gender that they are.  Note how un/une are used with each of the sexes.  In some cases, the words for family members change only slightly between the sexes.

It’s important to note that, although a family consists of several (or many!) people, the French word “famille” is feminine and singular.  It therefore requires the same conjugations and agreement as the subject pronoun “elle”.

NOTE: In French, the words for “in-law” and “step” are often the same.  Context will determine meaning.

une arrière-(arrière)-grand-mère : great-(great)-grandmother

Mon arrière-arrière-grand-mère est née au Sénégal.
My great-great-grandmother was born in Senegal.

un arrière-(arrière)-grand-père : great-(great)-grandfather

Mon arrière-grand-père a combattu dans la Première Guerre Mondiale.
My great-grandfather fought in the First World War.

un arrière-petit-enfant : great-grandchild

J’aime beaucoup mes arrières-petits-enfants.
I love my great-grandchildren very much.

une arrière-petite-fille : great-granddaughter

Mon arrière-petite-fille a deux ans.
My great-daughter is two years old.

un arrière-petit-fils : great-grandson

Mon arrière-petit-fils a quatre ans.
My great-grandson is four years old.

la belle-famille : in-laws (also: stepfamily)

Je m’entends bien avec ma belle-famille.
I get along well with my in-laws.

un beau-frère : brother-in-law (also: stepbrother)

Mon beau-frère habite en Suisse.
My brother-in-law lives in Switzerland.

les beaux-parents : parents-in-law / mother-in-law and father-in-law (also: stepparents)

Mes beaux-parents habitent loin de nous.
My mother-in-law and father-in-law live far from us.

un beau-père : father-in-law (also: stepfather)

Mon beau-père est comique.
My stepfather is funny.

une belle-fille : daughter-in-law (also: stepdaughter)

Ma belle-fille est mariée avec mon fils.
My daughter-in-law is married to my son.

une belle-mère : mother-in-law (also: stepmother)

La belle-mère de Cendrillon est méchante.
Cinderella’s stepmother is mean. (Literally: The mother of Cinderella is mean.)

une belle-soeur : sister-in-law (also: stepsister)

Ma belle-soeur habite en Belgique.
My sister-in-law lives in Belgium.

une compagne : female partner in a couple relationship

Catherine est ma compagne.
Catherine is my partner.

un compagnon : male partner in a couple relationship

Joseph est mon compagnon.
Joseph is my partner.

un(e) cousin(e) germain(e) : first cousin

J’ai deux cousines germaines.
I have two (female) first cousins.

un demi-frère : half-brother

Je partage une chambre avec mon demi-frère.
I share a bedroom with my half-brother.

une demi-soeur : half-sister

Lucie est ma demi-soeur.
Lucy is my half-sister.

un(e) fiancé(e) : fiancé(e)

Le fiancé de ma fille est très beau et la fiancée de mon fils est très jolie.
My daughter’s fiancé is very handsome and my son’s fiancée is very pretty.

un(e) filleul(e) : godson / goddaughter

Victor est mon filleul et Martine est ma filleule.
Victor is my godson and Martine is my goddaughter.

un gendre : son-in-law

Mon gendre est très intelligent.
My son-in-law is very smart.

un grand-oncle : great-uncle

J’ai un grand-oncle au Tahiti.
I have a great-uncle in Tahiti.

une grand-tante : great-aunt

Ma grand-tante habite en Floride.
My great-aunt lives in Florida.

une marraine : godmother

Ma femme est la marraine de l’enfant.
My wife is the child’s godmother.  (Literally: My wife is the godmother of the child.)

un parrain : godfather

Je suis le parrain de l’enfant.
I am the child’s godfather.  (Literally: I am the godfather of the child.)


Qui est sa fiancée?
Who is his fiancée?

Que veut dire “gendre”?
What does “gendre” mean?

Quand arrive votre belle-soeur?
When will your sister-in-law arrive?

Où habitent vos parrains?
Where do your (formal) godparents live?

Pourquoi est-ce que votre arrière-petit-enfant pleure?
Why is your (formal) great-granchild crying?

Comment s’appelle votre beau-père?
What is your (formal) father-in-law’s name?

Combien de beaux-enfants avez-vous?
How many stepchildren do you (formal) have?

Quel cousin germain habitent en Guyane Française?
Which first cousin lives in French Guiana?