Family Members

  • Last two weeks, we have learned a few words about family members.
  • Today, we are going to revise the words.
  • I have created a picture so that you will have a better understanding.

Family Member

Relationship Chinese Character Pinyin Pronunciation
Father’s father (Grandpa) 公公/祖父 gōng gong / zǔ fù
Father’s mother (Grandma) 婆婆/祖母 pó po /zǔ mǔ
Mother’s father (Grandpa) 外公 wài gōng
Mother’s mother (Grandma) 外婆 wài pó
Father 爸爸 bà ba
Mother 妈妈 mā ma
Elder brother 哥哥 gē ge
Younger brother 弟弟 dì di
Elder sister 姐姐 jiě jie
Younger sister 妹妹 mèi mei


  • 父亲 (fù qīn) is a more formal word for 爸爸 (father)
  • 母亲 (mǔ qīn) is a more formal word for 妈妈 (mother)
  • 爷爷 (yé ye) is sometimes used to mean father’s father (Grandpa)
  • 奶奶 (nǎi nai) is sometimes used to mean father’s mother (Grandma).
Watch Videos to Learn

More references:
A more complete list of Chinese family titles

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21 thoughts on “Family Members”

  1. Please tell me, in the case you have 2 older brothers , both of them are “ge1ge”???

    thanks for your attention


    1. Hi Cris,
      Yes, you can call both your older brothers 哥哥 (gē ge)。
      But as in daily life, we call the eldest brother 大哥,second brother 二哥,third brother 三哥 and so on。
      where 大 = big, eldest;
      二 = two, second,
      三 = three, third.

  2. Can see that there is both written younger sister and elder sister in chinese in this website. Isn’t there an own sign that just says “sister”?

    1. Hi Anna,
      You can say “姐妹” to mean “sister”.
      她们姐妹俩长得很像。 (The two sisters are very much alike.)

      她没有姐妹,只有一个哥哥。 (She has a brother but no sisters.)

      1. Okey. My sister and I are both planning to have a tatto and have decided that we want the motive to be the chinese symbol that means sister, would this “姐妹” be the correct symbol then? Is there any symbol that is shorter that can be used? I also wondered if you could tell me what the chinese symbol for “hope” looks likë?

        Sorry about the whining, but important to me to be sure since I will have the tattoo for the rest of my life. : )

        1. Hi Anna,
          Since it is for tattoo, would it be better to have a single character instead of 2 characters?
          The Chinese symbol “hope” is ” 希望 “, which is also 2 characters.

          Do both of you want to have the same tattoo? If not, you may have ” 姐 ” if you are elder than your sister, while your younger sister may have ” 妹 “.

          The tattoo will be with you forever, so think carefully. 🙂

          1. Okei! : ) Is it possible to write one of the characters beneath the other? Or do you have to write them as you have done? Would it be wrong to write “sister” like this

            and to write “hope” like this


            Thank you very much for your help! : ) Very nice of you!

          2. Don’t know how to thank you for your time, but have one last question. Just wondered if you could tell me what the chinese sign for the Zodiac sign “Libra” looks like? : )

          3. Hi Anna,

            Libra in Chinese is ” 天秤座 ” or ” 天秤 “.
            天 means sky.
            秤 means balance; steelyard; scales.
            座 means constellation.

    1. Hi Xiao Meimei,
      For mother’s sister (aunt), is called 阿姨。
      For father’s sister (aunt), is called 姑姑。

      For mother side cousins, are called 表哥,表姐,表弟,表妹。
      For father side cousins, are called 堂哥,堂姐,堂弟,堂妹。

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