French Vocabulary: Family Members – Basic

French Vocabulary: Family Members – Basic

Creative Commons Image via Flickr user MLekas


French Vocabulary: Family Members – Basic
le vocabulaire français: les membres de la famille – de base

  • 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”.

un bébé : baby

Le bébé est né hier.
The baby was born yesterday.

un(e) cousin(e) : cousin

Mon cousin est grand et ma cousine est petite.
My (male) cousin is tall and my (female) cousin is short.

un enfant (unique) : (only) child

Je suis un enfant unique, mais j’ai trois enfants.
I am an only child, but I have three children.

une femme / une épouse : wife / spouse

Sophie est ma femme.
Sophie is my wife.

une fille : daughter (also: girl)

Ma fille a huit ans. Elle est une fille intelligente.
My daughter is eight years old. She is a smart girl.

un fils : son

Mon fils a dix ans.
My son is ten years old.

un frère : brother

Michel est mon frère.
Michael is my brother.

un garçon : boy

Antoine est le seul garçon de sa famille.
Antoine is the only boy in his family.

une grand-mère : grandmother (une mamie / une mamy : grandma / granny)

Ma grand-mère est une très bonne cuisinière.
My grandmother is a very good cook.

un grand-père : grandfather (un papi / un papy : grandpa / gramps)

Mon grand-père habite en France.
My grandfather lives in France.

un jumeau / des jumeaux : twin (masculine) / twins (masculine or mixed)

Ils n’ont pas de jumeaux dans leur famille.
They do not have any twins in their family.

une jumelle / des jumelles : twin (feminine) / twins (feminine)

Elles sont des soeurs jumelles.
They are twin sisters.

un mari / un époux : husband / spouse

Bruno est mon mari.
Bruno is my husband.

une mère : mother (une maman : mom / mommy)

Ma mère s’appelle Marie-Claire.
My mother’s name is Marie-Claire.  (Literally: My mother is called Marie-Claire.)

un neveu : nephew

Mon neveu est dans sa chambre.
My nephew is in his room.

une nièce : niece

Ma nièce est dans la salle de séjour.
My niece is in the living room.

un oncle : uncle (un tonton : uncle – informal, usually used by children)

Mon oncle est de Nouvelle Orléans.
My uncle is from New Orleans.

un parent : parent

Mes parents partent en vacances.
My parents are going on vacation.

un père : father (un papa : dad / daddy)

Mon père s’appelle Guillaume.
My father’s name is William.   (Literally: My father is called William.)

un petit-enfant : grandchild

J’ai deux petits-enfants.
I have two grandchildren.

une petite-fille : granddaughter

Ma petite-fille est calme.
My granddaughter is calm.

un petit-fils : grandson

Mon petit-fils est très coquin!
My grandson is very mischievous!

une soeur : sister

Anne est ma soeur.
Anne is my sister.

une tante : aunt (une tatie / une tata : aunt / auntie – informal, usually used by children)

Ma tante est de Québec.
My aunt is from Quebec.


Comment s’appelle ton père?
What is your (familiar) father’s name?

Mon père s’appelle Christophe.
My father’s name is Christopher.

Comment s’appelle ta mère?
What is your (familiar) mother’s name?

Ma mère s’appelle Josephine.
My mother’s name is Josephine.

Où habitent vos frères?
Where do your (formal) brothers live?

Mes frères habitent en Californie et en France.
My brothers live in California and in France.

Tu as des enfants?
Do you (familiar) have children?

Non, je n’ai pas d’enfants mais j’ai une nièce.
No, I do not have children but I have a niece.

Que font papi et mamie?
What are grandpa and grandma doing?

Papi et mamie regardent la télé.
Grandpa and grandma are watching TV.