family relationship

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When i hear the word UNCLE i can not make sure who is ment by this word, is he father's broter or mother's brother; and the same goes for the words "aunt", grand father etc. would you please tell me how can we find the deffrence between them. thank you for your help
 

rewboss

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Feb 25, 2006
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In English, there is no difference. Your uncle could be your father's brother, your mother's brother, or even your father's sister's husband or your mother's sister's husband. If you really need to make the meaning clear, you could say "my uncle on my father's side" or "...mother's side", or "my father's brother-in-law" or "my mother's brother-in-law", although those last two are also unclear.

For grandparents, it's slightly easier. Your father's father is your paternal grandfather, and your mother's father is your maternal grandmother. But normally we don't consider the difference to be very important, so we just say "grandfather" or "grandmother".
 
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