How to Say Family Members in Chinese

Posted by Lilian Li on 23/12/2015 1:15 AM 4445

family member in chinese

In China, to address correctly each family member takes years of practice (joking!). But for the little kids and new family members, it does seem more difficult to say the correct title in Chinese for the entitle family members and relatives than in English-speaking countries. In this article, you are going to learn what to call your family members or relatives in Chinese!

Let's start with the basics!

1. Parents

爸爸 bàba, Dad

妈妈 māma, Mom

2. Siblings

哥哥 gēge, older brother

弟弟 dìdi, younger brother

姐姐 jiějie, older sister

妹妹 mèimei, younger sister

3. Grandparents

Paternal side

爷爷 yéye, grandpa (father's father)

奶奶 nǎinai, grandma (father's mother)

Maternal side

外公 wàigōng, grandpa (mother's father)

外婆 wàipó, grandma (mother's mother)

4. Aunts & Uncles

Maternal uncle and his wife
舅舅 jiùjiu, uncle (mother's brother)

舅妈 jiùmā, aunt (wife of mother's brother)

Paternal uncle (father's younger brother)and his wife
叔叔 shūshu, uncle (father's younger brother)

婶婶 shěnshen, aunt (wife of father's younger brother)


Paternal uncle and his wife
大伯 dàbó uncle (father's older brother)

伯母 bómǔ aunt (wife of father's older brother)


paternal aunts (father's sisters) and their husbands
姑姑 gūgū, aunt (father's sister)

姑父 gūfu, uncle (husband of father's sister)


Father's sisters (from the eldest to the youngest)
大姑 dàgū

二姑 èrgū

小姑 xiǎogū

Maternal Aunts (mother's older or younger sisters)
姨妈 yímā


Mother's sisters (eldest-youngest)
大姨,二姨,小姨 dàyí, èryí, xiǎoyí

姨姥姥 yílǎolao
Maternal Great-Aunt (mother's mother's younger or older sister)

5. Brothers and Sisters-in-Law

Brother and sister-in-law (Husband's younger brother) and his wife
小叔子,弟妹 xiǎoshūzi,dìmèi

Brother and sister-in-law (Husband's older brother) and his wife
大伯,嫂子dàbó,sǎozi

Video Tutorial How to Remember the Titles of Chinese Family Members?

It is really complicated, isn't it? Let's our teachers help you!

About The Author

Lilian Li

Lilian has a master’s degree in linguistics and didactics from Rennes University in France. An expert in linguistics and educational psychology, she has taught Chinese as a foreign language for several years, primarily in France. Her classes follow a logical and thorough path to ensure students build a methodology of learning that will continue to help them improve their language ability. She likes jogging, swimming, partying, and hang out with friends! Learn Chinese online with Lilian Li >>

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