German Family MembersFree Vocabulary List

German Vocabulary

01.03.2022

Family Vocabulary

Family Members

Knowing the vocabulary for family members is important in any language, and German is no exception. It allows you to talk about your own family and share information about your relatives with others.

GermanEnglish
die Muttermother
der Vaterfather
der Bruder (pl.: die Brüder)brother
die Schwester (pl.: die Schwestern)sister
die Geschwistersiblings
die Elternparents
der Sohnson
die Tocherdaughter

In German, the word for "mother" is "Mutter", the word for "father" is "Vater", but using those to address your parents sounds a little bit old school. Most children call their mum "Mama" or "Mutti", while they call their dad "Papa" or "Papi".

Grandparents in German

Let's talk about grannies: Children usually call their grandparents either "Oma" or "Opa" - "Großmutter" or "Großvater" sounds a little bit formal.

GermanEnglish
der Großvatergrandfather
die Großmuttergrandmother
der Opagrandfather
die Omagrandmother

You could use "Großmutter" and "Großvater" when talking to a friend about your grandparents, but you wouldn"t say it to your grandpa or grandma directly - unless you're red riding hood, she does these sort of things... 🙄

Uncle & Aunt in German

"Der Onkel" & "die Tante" are also pretty easy to remember. Just like in English, you would refer to "auntie Hannah" as "Tante Hannah", or "uncle Bob" would be "Onkel Bob".

GermanEnglish
der Onkeluncle
die Tanteaunt

Remembering the German words for nephew and niece isn't that important. Nowadays, many people also refer to their nieces & nephews simply as "Der Sohn meiner Schwester" or "Die Tochter von meinem Bruder".

GermanEnglish
der Neffenephew
die Nichteniece
der Cousincousin (m.)
die Cousinecousin (f.)

"Der Cousin" & "die Cousine" are more common. Luckily, they're one of the many German-English cognates, so remembering them won't be very difficult.

Comparatives

Sometimes you need to say exactly which brother you're talking about: Your older brother? The youngest son?

How would you say these things in German? Easy peasy:

GermanEnglish
der große Bruder~ older brother
die kleine Schwester~ little sister
der älteste Sohnoldest son
die jüngste Tochteryoungest daughter
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