[Speaking Topics] Family Vocabulary




to raise = to bring up
to care for children until they grow up

  • I was raised in a small town. I wasn’t raised in the jungle.
  • Raising children is a huge responsibility.

the period of life when you are a child

  • My childhood was happy and carefree. I used to chase butterflies all day.
  • I’m quite sure Charles Manson didn’t have a happy childhood. (he was a serial killer)

adolescence = teenage years
the period of life between childhood and adulthood

  • A large part of my adolescence was spent with partying and avoiding responsibilities.
  • My grandmother guided me through the turbulent waters of adolescence.

to play truant = to skive off
to be absent from school without permission

  • I used to play truant and spend the whole time with my friends in the arcades.
  • I would give a prison sentence to parents who let their children play truant.

juvenile delinquency
antisocial behaviour demonstrated by adolescents, usually involving breaking the law.

  • Juvenile delinquency was thriving in the area. The parents couldn’t do anything to stop their children.
  • Juvenile delinquency rates are usually higher in urban areas.

neglected (adj.)
not looked after, not getting any attention

  • Neglected teenagers seek attention and will do anything to get it.
  • My wife feels neglected, so I’ve taken her out to a fast food restaurant.

nuclear family
the smallest family unit: mother, father and children
(opposite: extended family)

  • Nowadays most people live in nuclear families.
  • Living in nuclear families means we don’t get to listen to our grandparents’ stories.

to get on well with somebody
to have a good relationship with somebody

  • When we were children, my sister and I didn’t get on very well. We used to pull each other’s pony-tails.
  • I wish I could get on well with my mother-in-law, but she’s a real witch.

a person who is related to you by blood or marriage

  • I think my relatives hate me. I never get any Christmas presents.
  • You can choose your friends, but can’t choose your relatives.

members of your wife’s or husband’s family

  • I hate the idea of spending the holidays with my in-laws.
  • I never know what to buy for my in-laws for Christmas.

red-letter day
any day that’s significant and memorable to you for a reason

  • It was a red-letter day when my son finally learnt how to tie his shoelaces.
  • If I pass my exam, that’ll be a red-letter day.

stepparent, stepmother, stepfather
new wives or husbands of your biological parents

  • First, I hated the idea of moving in with my stepfather, but then it wasn’t so bad.
  • Cinderella used to live with a wicked stepmother and two stepsisters.

stepfamily = blended family
a family where either one or both parents have children from previous relationships

  • Living in a stepfamily never really bothered me. I could visit my father as often as I wanted.
  • Blending families to create stepfamilies is a difficult process.

siblings = brothers or sisters
individuals sharing the same father or mother

  • As an only-child, I’ve always wanted to have siblings.
  • Children growing up with no siblings are often spoilt.

to allow = permit = let
to give your permission to someone to do something

  • My biological father always allowed me to eat ice-cream before dinner.
  • Minors shouldn’t be allowed to buy alcohol.

quality time
time when you dedicate yourself to only one person or activity

  • My mother and I didn’t spend enough quality time together. She always had to work.
  • Spending quality time with your children is more important than making a lot of money.

to take after somebody
to be/resemble someone in appearance or character

  • I take after my mother. I have the same green eyes.
  • Children often take after one of their grandparents.

overprotective (adj.)
wanting to protect someone too much

  • My mum used to be overprotective when I was a child. She never let me go to the playground on my own (alone).
  • Overprotective parents should seek professional help to help them relax a little.

strict (adj.)
wanting order and discipline all the time, opposite = lenient, forgiving

  • My mother was very strict. If I was just ten minutes late, she grounded me for a week.

grounded = not allowed to leave the house

  • Strict teachers are often more popular than lenient ones, because they don’t let misbehaved children interfere with their teaching.

foster family
children living with guardians who are neither their natural nor their adoptive parents

  • My friend, Jack, lived with at least five different foster families as a child. He was quite troublesome.
  • Foster families can change a child’s life for the better

(nguồn: myenglishteacher)