Many students make mistakes when they ask and answer questions about their families.

Common questions, answers, and mistakes

  • Question: Do you have any brothers (and/or) sisters?
    • Answers: I’m an only child (no brothers or sisters).
    • A: I’m the youngest child. I have 1 older brother and 1 older sister.
    • A: I’m a middle child. I have 1 younger sister and 1 older sister.
    • A: I have one younger sister.
  • Q: How many people are in your family? (NOT: How many is your family?)
  • Q: How big is your family?
    • NOT: My family is 4.
    • NOT: The people in my family is 4.
    • A: There are 4 people in my family: my parents, my sister, and myself.
    • A: My family has 4 members: my parents, my sister, and myself.
    • A: I have 2 sisters.

Siblings is a common word used to talk about families. It means “brothers or sisters”

  • How many siblings do you have?
    • I have 2 siblings: 1 brother and 1 sister.
    • I have 2 siblings: 2 older brothers.

When asking people about their family, it is safest to ask about their brothers or sisters. This will avoid any awkwardness if the person’s parents are divorced or possibly dead. Also, when talking about your family, it is often not necessary to talk about your parents. People will assume that you have 2 parents unless you tell them differently.