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How to Talk about Your Family in Russian


During an exam or a chat with a friend, you might be asked questions about your family. So, let’s look at basic vocabulary related to family members. Learn Russian with a tutor to master the language and learn how to speak it fluently.

Family Members

Let’s start with the most important people in our lives—our parents. In Russian parents are called “родители” (roditeli), mom “мама” (mama), and dad “папа” (papa).

  • Как твои родители? (Kak tvoi roditeli?) – How are your parents doing?

  • Мои мама и папа уехали в отпуск. (Moi mama i papa uekhali v otpusk.) – My mom and dad went on vacation.


Grandparents are called “бабушка” (babushka – grandmother) and “дедушка” (dedushka – grandfather). In Russian there is no word to describe them both, like English “grandparents.”

  • Мои бабушка и дедушка живут в деревне. (Moi babushka i dedushka zhivut v derevne.) – My granny and my grandpa (or grandparents) live in a village.


Our great-grandparents are called “прабабушка” (prababushka – great-grandmother) and “прадедушка” (pradedushka – great-grandfather).

  • Я не видел свою прабабушку, она умерла до моего рождения. (Ya ne videl svoiu prababushku, ona umerla do moego rozhdeniya.) – I have never seen my great-grandmother; she died before I was born.


You may have brothers and sisters—“братья и сестры” (brat’ya i syostry)—siblings, or cousins. When you talk about your siblings, you call them “родной брат” (rodnoi brat – brother) or “родная сестра” (rodnaya sestra – sister). Your cousins are “двоюродный брат” (dvoiurodnyi brat – male cousin) and “двоюродная сестра” (dvoiurodnaya sestra – female cousin).

  • У меня есть родной брат. (U menya est’ rodnoi brat.) – I have a brother.

  • Я не часто вижу мою двоюродную сестру. (Ya ne chasto vizhu moiu dvoiurodnuiu sestru.) – I don’t see my cousin often.


Let’s not forget about our uncles and aunts: “дядя” (dyadya – uncle) and “тётя” (tyotya – aunt). And, of course, we must remember our nieces and nephews: “племянница” (plemyannitsa – niece) and “и племянник” (plemyannik – nephew).

  • Моя тётя приходила к нам в гости вчера. (Moya tyotya prikhodila k nam v gosti chera.) – My aunt visited us yesterday.

  • Завтра у моего племянника день рождения. (Zavtra u moego plemyannika den’ rozhdeniya.) – Tomorrow my nephew has a birthday.


Relatives are “родственники” (rodstvenniki). You can use this word for both distant and close relatives, but you wouldn’t use it to describe your parents, although it would technically be correct. The word “family” in Russian is “семья” (sem’ya).

  • Мои родственники собираются в ресторане, чтобы отпраздновать день рождения моей сестры. (Moi rodstvenniki sobiraiutsya v restorane, shtoby otprazdnovat’ den’ rozhdeniya moei sestry.) – My relatives are meeting at the restaurant to celebrate my sister’s birthday.

  • Я люблю свою семью. (Ya liubliu svoiu sem’iu.) – I love my family.

Immediate and Step Families

When we talk about our immediate or step family, we use these words and phrases:

  • жена (zhena) – wife

  • муж (muzh) – husband

  • ребёнок (rebyonok) – child

  • Дети (deti) – children

  • дочь (doch’) – daughter

  • сын (syn) – son

  • усыновить ребенка (usynovit’ rebyonka) – to adopt a child

  • приёмный отец (priyomnyi otets) or папа (papa) – stepfather

  • приёмная мать (priyomnaya mat’) or мама (mama), мачеха (machekha) – stepmother

Here are some example sentences:

  • Я объявляю вас мужем и женой. (Ya ob’yavlyaiu vas muzhem i zhenoi.) – I pronounce you man and wife.

  • У Маши и Саши родился ребенок. (U Mashy i Sashy rodilsya rebyonok.) – Masha and Sasha have had a baby.

  • Мой сын уже ходит в школу. (Moi syn uzhe khodit v shkolu.) – My son already goes to school.

  • Нам пришлось усыновить ребёнка. (Nam prishlos’ usynovit’ rebyonka.) – We had to adopt a child.

  • Он её приёмный сын. (On eyo priyomnyi syn.) – He is her adopted son.

  • Она его приёмная мать – мачеха. (Ona ego priyomnaya mat’ – machekha.) –She is his stepmother.

Talking about Your Family

Here is a short example of a story you can tell about your family. It contains simple phrases and words.

  • Меня зовут Марк. У меня довольно большая семья – я, мой младший брат, мои родители, мои бабушка с дедушкой и несколько двоюродных братьев и сестёр. (Menya zovut Mark. U menya divol’no bol’shaya sem’ya – ya, moi mladshyi brat, moi roditeli, moi babushka s dedushkoi i neskol’ko dvoiurodnykh brat’ev i sestyor.) My name is Mark. I have a rather large family—my younger brother and I, our parents, our grandparents, and several cousins.

  • Я женат, и у меня двое детей – мальчик и девочка. Моему сыну пять лет, а дочери всего 3 года. Они оба ходят в детский сад. Моя жена работает в школе, а я в офисе. Когда мы работаем допоздна, моя мама присматривает за детьми. (Ya zhenat, i u menya dvoe detei – mal’chik i devochka. Moemu synu pyat’ let, a docheri vsego tri goda. Oni oba khodyat v detskii sad. Moya zhena rabotaet v shkole, a ya v ofise. Kogda my rabotaem dopozdna, moya mama prismatrivaet za det’mi.) I’m married and have two kids, a boy and a girl. My son is five; my daughter is just three. They both go to kindergarten. My wife works at school; I work at the office. When we work late, my mom looks after my children.

  • Мои родители живут в большом доме. Мы часто собираемся всей семьей, готовим семейный ужин и долго болтаем. (Moi rodteli zhivut v bol’shom dome s moim mladshym bratom. My chasto sobiraemsya vsei sem’yoi, gotovim semeinyi uzhin i dolgo boltaem.) My parents live in a big house together with my younger brother. Our whole family often gather together, cook a family dinner, and have long talks.

Talk about Your Family in Russian

Try to create a story about your own family. Need help? Order a lesson here with one of our Russian tutors. They will help you to learn the language, whether you want to learn enough to chat with friends or to pass an important exam.

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