Adjective + Noun Collocations

  • nuclear family (two parents and their children)
  • immediate family (parents/grandparents/siblings)
  • extended family ( a family unit that includes grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, and uncles, etc. in addition to parents and children)
  • dysfunctional family– a family that is not behaving or working normally, where there is conflict, misbehaviour, etc.
  • close-knit family – a group of people in which everyone supports each other

         Being a close-knit family helps us overcome all the difficulties we have faced.

  • over-protective parents– a parent who protect their child too much

        Overprotective parents can prevent their children from building confidence and independence.

  • spoilt child– a child who shows bad behaviour because they have been allowed to do or have anything they want
  • single parent/ one- parent family– a person bringing up a child or children without a partner
  • stay at home parentstay at home mum – a parent who stays at home to take care of their children rather than going out to work

Noun + Noun Collocations

  • family background
  • family member
  • family unit
  • family tree
  • family life
  • family man
  • family name (surname)
  • family values
  • family bond/ties 
  • family gathering/get-together: an informal event where family members meet up

        We’re having a family get-together to celebrate my great grandmother’s birthday.

  • family tradition
  • family crisis
  • family ties– the sense of connection between family members

 Verb + Noun Collocations (verb + family)

  • to start a family
  • to have a family
  • to bring up a family (to look after children)
  • to raise a family (to take care of children)
  • to split up a family
  • run in the family – a common feature in a family; something which is passed from parents to children.

        Artistic ability seems to run in the family.

  • to support (a family)– to have enough money to be able to look after a family
  • to be one of the family (like a family member)
  • to be in the family way (to be pregnant)

Other words:

  • Spouse: a husband or wife
  • Sibling: a brother or sister
  • sibling rivalry: a feeling of competition between siblings
  • in-laws: “In-law” is used to describe the relatives of your husband or wife — that is, the relatives of your spouse. Your spouse’s brother is your brother-in-law, your spouse’s sister is your sister-in-law, your spouse’s mother is your mother-in-law, your spouse’s father is your father-in-law, and so on.
  • a relative: someone who is part of your family, eg. your cousin, aunt, etc.
  • blood relative: someone you are related to through birth rather than marriage
  • distant relative: generally, a relative who is a third cousin or greater,
  • next of kin: the person or group of people you are most closely related to      
  • descendants: a person who is related to you and who lives after you, such as your child or grandchild, and all future generations
  • ancestors: family members from past generations

      I’m writing my autobiography so that my descendants will know what life was like for one of their ancestors.

  • household: all the people who live in one house      
  • big brother/ elder brother (or sister): older than you
  • little sister/ younger sister (or brother): younger than you
  • an only child: a child who doesn’t have any brothers or sisters       
  • to raise (a child): to take ​care of a child until they become an adult              
  • to bring up (a child): to raise a child
  • upbringing: the way in which you are treated and educated
  • strict            
  • authoritarian: demanding that people obey completely and refusing to allow them the freedom to act as they wish
  • generation gap: a difference of opinions between one generation and another regarding beliefs and attitudes
  • adolescent: a young person who is developing into an adult       

          Many adolescents develop emotional problems which lead to increased conflicts. 

  • hereditary: passed from the genes of a parent to a child

            Diabetes is hereditary in our family so I make sure that I eat healthily and keep fit to lessen my chances of getting it.    

  • childhood
  • motherhood
  • fatherhood              
  • to care for: to provide the things someone needs, especially someone who is young, old, or ill         
  • to desert: to leave someone without help or in a difficult situation and not come back

           My father deserted us when I was young and my mother has brought me up on her own.




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