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    • Join Date: Mar 2005
    • Posts: 114
    #1

    Question how large is the scope of "family"?

    People say "families" could only mean "husband, wife, and kids". Is that true? Could "families" also mean "siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren"? What is the widest border for "families"? Aslo, is there any difference between "families" and "relatives"? Thanks a lot!

    Emily Wong

  1. DavyBCN's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Wales
      • Current Location:
      • Rwanda

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 346
    #2

    Re: how large is the scope of "family"?

    Quote Originally Posted by emily wong
    People say "families" could only mean "husband, wife, and kids". Is that true? Could "families" also mean "siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren"? What is the widest border for "families"? Aslo, is there any difference between "families" and "relatives"? Thanks a lot!
    Emily Wong
    I think the answer to this is a mixture of personal and cultural issues, and can change according to circumstances. During my life in the UK I would always include my brother as a member of my family. Quite often in BE people use the phases "immediate" or "close" family, which tends to limit it to parents, children and often siblings. But, a "family gathering", such as at a wedding or funeral, would include almost anyone who is related to you - including distant cousins, nieces, nephews and in-laws.

    Living in Spain I realise that, for a mixture of personal cultural and historical reasons, most people here would include grandparents and grandchildren and more as family/immediate/close family.

    A relative is any member of your family - and this can definitely include what BE speakers call "distant relatives" - people who you know you are "related to" but in such a complicated manner that you may not know how!

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