Expressing family relations:

A family is smallest social unit. The family consists of father, mother, children and relatives. This kind of a family is called Extended family


  1. Uncle – The brother of your father or mother
  2. Cousin – The child of your uncle or aunt.
  3. Nephew – The son of you r brother or sister
  4. Niece – The daughter of your brother or sister
  5. Sister –in –law – The sister of your wife or husband
  6. Father in- law – the father of your wife or husband
  7. Grandfather – The father of your father or mother
  8. Brother in- law – The brother of your wife of husband
  9. Grandmother – The mother of your father or mother 10. Aunt – The sister of your father or mother

A family tree Mabula married Kalunde.They have two children ,Robert and Rose. Robert got married to Rehema and they have two children Tyson and Diana Rose at mrried to Juma and they have two children;Bush and Sijapata Study the following diagram:

Expressing occupations of family members

Members of a family usually has daily activity for production or social services

Vocabulary; Venders, Tailors, Sailors, Plumber, Nurse,Teacher.


Fill in the following table with the right information. The first one has been done for you.


Getting Ready.

Ask students that they are going to learn how to express family relations. Guide them through brainstorming and discussion of various terminologies applied when talking about family relations of family members. Discuss with them to what the following mean: Family, relations, relationship, human relationship, family members, kinship and others.

Use of Real Family Pictures.

Show them your family picture, and use a family tree to express your family as a teacher. Students learn more when they find that things they are learning are available in their localities. It is a good idea if you allow them to come with their family pictures because each will have his or her own family to express. To show them how family relations are express, start with using your own family or just use your picture.

Application of Family Tree Diagram.

It is good if a teacher can spend some time with students to explain to them what Family tree diagram is. After understanding the family tree diagram, the teacher uses a family tree diagram to describe his or her family relations.

Family Tree Diagram:

After describing his/her own family relations in brief, now a teacher can discuss with the students about the common phrases and vocabularies used when expressing family relations in English language.

The table showing the various relationships of family members in English:

Father Mother Parent
Son Daughter Child
Husband Wife Spouse
Brother Sister Sibling
Grandfather Grandmother Grandparents
Grandson Granddaughter Grandchild
Uncle Aunt Parent’s siblings
Nephew Niece Sibling’s child
Cousin Cousin Uncle’s/Aunt’s child

Guide the students to the explanation of these common vocabularies. Give some examples and let them explain the rest of the vocabularies.

  • Father is somebody’s male parent.
  • Mother is somebody’s female parent.
  • Parent is somebody’s father or mother.
  • Son is somebody’s male child.
  • Daughter is somebody’s female child.
  • Husband is the man who a woman is married to.
  • Wife is the woman who a man is married to.
  • Spouse is somebody married to another person; husband or wife.
  • Brother is a boy or man who has the same parents as another person.
  • Sister is a girl or woman who has the same parents as another person.
  • Sibling is a brother or sister.
  • Elder brother/sister is a brother/sister who is older than you.
  • Young brother/sister is a brother/sister who is younger than you.
  • Grandfather is somebody’s parent’s father.
  • Grandmother is somebody’s parent’s mother.
  • Grandparent is somebody’s parent’s parent.
  • Great grandfather is a father of your grandparent.
  • Great grandmother is a mother of your grandparent.

Useful Patterns when Expressing Family Members.

As a teacher, use the following patterns when you are expressing your family members through words or in the picture:

For example:

  • My mother’s brother is my uncle (always pointing to the parts of the picture). My father’s brother is my uncle.
  • My grandfather lives with three sons.
  • I have five brothers.
  • My brother has two sisters.
  • My brother’s cousin lives in town.

Students Use Their Family Pictures.

Prior to the lesson, tell the students to come with the pictures of their family members. It is good if the student is one of the family members in the pictures. Ask students to show their family pictures that show family members (the picture may not include all family members). If there is a time, allow each student to show and express the family members in the picture by using the family vocabularies studied already.

Also a teacher may group students into manageable groups and allow them to select one student’s family picture they will use to express the family relations.

Drawing Individual Family Tree Diagram.

This is the time for students to draw their individual family trees and talk about them. Ask students to draw their individual family tree diagram using their family pictures they have. Encourage them to use the sample diagram you have drawn on the board.

Family Tree Diagram



Most names of family members are identified as either common nouns like father, mother, brother or proper nouns like Uncle Ben, Aunt Ezekiel. The family members identified as proper nouns are combined together to form proper nouns. For example; Aunt Maria, Uncle Ben.

Present Tense.

Simple Present tense is commonly used when expressing family relations. This may only be different when someone is talking about the past events of the family members. For example:

  • John is my brother.
  • My father lives in the city.
  • I have four brothers.
  • My parents are teachers. They teach at Karema Secondary School.
  • Grandson is somebody’s son’s or daughter’s son.
  • Granddaughter is somebody’s son’s or daughter’s daughter.
  • Grandchild is somebody’s son’s or daughter’s child.
  • Uncle is somebody’s mother’s or father’s brother; your aunt’s husband.
  • Aunt is somebody’s mother’s or father’s sister; your uncle’s wife.
  • Nephew is somebody’s brother’s or sister’s son; your husband’s or wife’s brother’s or sister’s son.


The ability to express one’s family relations is one of the cultural and life skills. The teacher can ask students to think about the places and situations where they can apply their family relationship.


Assign Form One students some questions about family relations. Make sure these questions are set in the way they can make a student feels like he/she is introducing members of his/her family to someone by mentioning their respective family relations.

Assessment 1: Ask students to match the following items:

(i)                 Cousin

(ii)               Niece

(iii)             Nephew

(iv)             Aunt

(v)               Uncle

(vi)             Stepson

(vii)           Stepsister

(viii)         Stepbrother

(ix)             Stepmother

(x)               stepfather

  1. Your spouse’s son from an earlier marriage.
  2. Your stepfather’s or stepmother’s daughter (at least one of your parent is different)
  3. Your stepfather’s or stepmother’s son (at least one of your parent is different)
  4. Your father’s wife (not your real mother)
  5. Your mother’s husband (not your real father)
  6. Somebody’s parent’s brother’s or sister’s child; somebody’s aunt’s or uncle’s child.
  7. Somebody’s brother’s or sister’s daughter; your husband’s or wife’s brother’s or sister’s daughter.
  8. Somebody’s brother’s or sister’s son; your husband’s or wife’s brother’s or sister’s son.
  9. Somebody’s mother’s or father’s sister; your uncle’s wife.
  10. Somebody’s mother’s or father’s brother; your aunt’s husband.

Assessment 2: Ask students to choose the correct words in the brackets in the following sentences:

  1. Your daughter’s husband is your ____________(son-in-law/sister-in-law).
  2. Your spouse’s mother is your ______________(sister-in-law/mother-in-law).
  3. Your spouse’s sister is your ________________(sister-in-law/mother-in-law).
  4. Your spouse’s brother is your _______________(son-in-law/brother-in-law).
  5. Your spouse’s father is your ________________(brother-in-law/father-in-law).
  6. Your spouse’s daughter from an earlier marriage is your_____________(stepsister/stepdaughter).

Assessment 3: Ask student to match the following phrases used in family relations:

(i)                 Bachelor

(ii)               Widower

(iii)             Spinster

(iv)             Single

(v)               Daughter-in-law

(vi)             Boyfriend

(vii)           Widow

(viii)         Girlfriend

  1. Your son’s wife.
  2. A boy or man that a girl or woman goes out with.
  3. A woman whose husband has died.
  4. A girl or woman that a boy or man goes out with.
  5. A man whose wife has died.
  6. A person who isn’t married and doesn’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend.
  7. A man who has never been married.
  8. A woman who has never been married.

Assessment 4: Ask students to match the following family relation vocabularies:

(1)   Baby

(2)   Infant

(3)   Toddler

(4)   Marriage

(5)   Marry

(6)   Wedding

(7)   Bride

(8)   Honeymoon

(9)   Divorce

(10)   Bridegroom

(11)   Get engaged

(a)   The act of marrying; a marriage ceremony and the meal or party that follows it.

(b)   The legal ending of a marriage; end your marriage legally.

(c)    A holiday taken by a couple who have just got married.

(d)   A man on his wedding day; or just before or just after it.

(e)    A woman on her wedding day; or just before or just after it.

(f)    Agree to marry somebody.

(g)   Get married to somebody or become somebody’s husband or wife.

(h)   A very young child.

(i)     Legal relationship between a husband and wife.

(j)     A baby or very young child, new-born child.

(k)   A young child who has just learnt to walk.


As it has been introduced in the Reflection, expressing family relations is important for anyone as long as he/she is a human being. These family relations bring unity, that’s, they show how people are mutually connected and related as one family. Apart from that, understanding family relations help people when they asked about their family members. This happens when thy fill out various forms and so on.


Possession refers to one having his/her property such as school, pen, houses, car, home, and farm

– Most occurring words

(i) Possessive pronouns: e.g. my, her, his, our, their

(ii) Other terms: posses, belong, own, property of….


– My father owns a boat

– My sister own a big house

– I have a hen

– We possess a big library

– That bus belongs to my father


People differ in physical appearance in terms of height, size, colour,[complexion] morphology, hair, eyes, ears, nose, teeth, fingers, legs, toes, chest head.

Study the following text

Mr. Kibakaya is a light coloured skinned man in our street. He is baldheaded and his remaining hairs gray. Older people say that he has a fair complexion. His daughter is skinning, tall but tenders.

She is beautiful and attracts attention whenever she passes. Her twisting eyes confuse young man. She puts on her-heals on every weekend. Her young brother is shot and fat, he looks handsome and magnetic to girls his chest is wide as well as frightening nose


Every person has a particular behavior that display his/her character: Example: cruel, greedily, rude, rough, carelessness, generous, gentle, sincere, open, lian


(i) He is a rude boy at our school

(ii) She is careless that her uniform is full of sports

(iii) A sincere student is liked by teacher

(iv) You’re a liar

Character changes because of age education and people around, character reflects moral and cultural value. People from broken families usually show bad character. Character can also be understood through a language that a person uses.


Asking questions

We can also ask questions using the words in the box

(i) Who is shouting?

(ii) What are you doing?

(iii) Which boo is yours?

(iv) Whose pen is this?

(v) When do we go home?


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