Family and friends – Spanish vocabulary

Learning about who’s in your family is an absolute must, examiners seem to love asking about it. Describe family members and friends and talk about relationships it will be very important too. To be able to do this, we have organice vocabulary into 4 blocks, which you can see below, or go directly to the flashcards to start working with the vocabulary about family. 

Family members in Spanish

We start with 20 practical words that will allow you to talk about family members in general. You need to learn how to use this vocabulary confidently, along with the possessives in Spanish.


la madremother
el padrefather
los padresparents
la madrastrastepmother
el padrastrostepfather
el hermanobrother
la hermanasister
el hermanastrostep/half-brother
la hermanastrastep/half-sister
el abuelo grandfather
la abuelagrandmother
los abuelosgrandparents
el tíouncle
la tíaaunt
el primo (la prima)cousin
el sobrinonephew/niece
la sobrinaniece
el hijoson
la hijadaughter
el hijo único (la hija única)only child

Vocabulary to describe family and friends

Now we are going to learn some vocabulary to describe what people look like, so we can identify them easily.

ser alto (a)to be tall
ser bajo (a)to be short
ser grandeto be big
ser pequeño (a)to be small
ser mediano (a)to be medium
ser guapo (a)to be good looking
ser feo (a)to be ugly
ser gordo (a)to be fat
ser delgado (a)to be slim
tener el pelo largoto have long hair
tener el pelo cortoto have short hair
tener el pelo lisoto have straigh hair
tener el pelo rizadoto have curly hair
tener el pelo rubioto have blond hair
tener el pelo morenoto have dark hair
tener el pelo blancoto have white hair
tener el pelo negroto have black hair
tener el pelo castañoto have brown hair
tener el pelo pelirrojoto have  red hair
tener los ojos azulesto have blue eyes
tener los ojos marronesto have brown eyes
tener los ojos verdesto have green eyes
llevar gafasto wear glasses
tener pecasto have freckles
tener barbato have a beard
tener bigoteto have a moustache
ser calvo (a)to be bald

Notice that to describe people we use the verbs ser (to be), tender (to have), and llevar (to wear). On the other hand, when we describe people in the must we must use the imperfect tense.

«Mi padre es alto y tiene  los ojos marrones. Sin embargo,  su padre, mi abuelo, era bajo y tenía los ojos azules»

You can translate this sentence and leave the translation in the comments below, I will be happy to correct it for you. For VIP students we have a proper translation task, just click on the link.

Adjectives to describe people's personality and characters

Let’s see some useful adjectives to describe people’s personalities and characters, so we can describe the different qualities of family and friends. Remember that, in Spanish, adjectives must agree with the noun they describe. Learn more about adjectives in Spanish.

activo (a)active
amablekind, friendly
ambicioso (a)ambitious
amistoso (a)friendly
animado (a)lively
antipático (a)unpleasant
atrevido (a)cheeky, daring
callado (a)quiet/reserved
cariñoso (a)affectionate
celoso (a)jealous
comprensivo (a)understanding
desordenado (a)disorganised, untidy
educado (a)polite
extrovertido (a)extroverted, outgoing
generoso (a)generous
gracioso (a)funny
hablador (a)talkative
honrado (a)honest
maleducado (a)rude
mimado (a)spoiled
motivado (a)motivated
perezoso (a)lazy
proactivo (a)proactive
seguro (a) de sí mismo (a)self-assured
serio (a)serious, responsible
simpático (a)nice, kind
trabajador (a)hardworking
travieso (a)naughty, mischievous

Verbs to explain relationships in Spanish

Here you have some verbs that will allow you to explain how you get on with other people because relationships sometimes can be problematic with family and friends.

aguantarto put up with
confiarto trust
discutirto discuss, argue
enfadarseto get angry
fastidiarto annoy, bother
insultarto insult
llorarto cry
llevarse bien/mal conto get on well, badly with
maltratarto mistreat, abuse
molestarto bother, annoy
pelear(se)to fight