Talking about your family in the Spanish oral

Recently there have been a lot of searches directed by to the site seeking to find out  how to talk about your family in Spanish so I’m just putting something together now about it.

The following sites are all handy for learning and revising words about the family.

This will bring you to a site which has a list of pretty much every member of the family you can think of (or I can think of anyway) and a few useful sentences as well.

This link is actually for Spanish speakers learning how to talk about their family in English – but it’s just as useful for learning to do it the other way around.

At Coffee Break Spanish, you can listen to units that correspond fairly closely to the Irish syllabus for learning Spanish. This link brings you to the first level of Coffee Break Spanish, but there is also an intermediate level and advanced level. Links are all there on the first page.

A quick point – if you’re happy to talk about your family, I recommend that YOU bring them up. Examiners try to be sensitive in case people don’t want to talk about their families. If you don’t, that’s fine, but if you are happy to talk about your family, make it clear – a good way to do this is by bringing them up at the start of the exam.

Below are questions I tend to set my Senior Cycle students, followed by some phrases that might be useful to talk about your family for your orals.

  1. ¿Cuántas personas hay en tu familia? [Answer with “SOMOS” rather than “hay”]
  2. ¿Tienes hermanos?  ¿Son mayores o menores que tú? ¿Cuántos años tienen?
  3.   ¿Cómo son? (descripción física y de carácter)  ¿Pareces a alguien de tu familia?
  4. ¿Hay alguna ventaja en estar en el medio/ser el pequeño/ser el mayor?
  5. ¿Trabaja o estudia alguno de tus hermanos?
  6. ¿Viven todos en casa o está casado alguno de tus hermanos?  ¿Lo(s) ves a menudo?
  7. ¿Tienes algún sobrino? ¿Te llevas bien con los niños/los pequeños?
  8. ¿Tus padres trabajan?  ¿En qué?
  9. ¿Siempre han hecho esto o qué hacían antes?
  10.   ¿Te llevas bien con tu familia?
  11.   ¿Discutís a veces tus padres/hermanos y tú? ¿Sobre qué?
  12.   ¿Tus padres son estrictos?  ¿En relación a qué?
  13.   ¿Tus padres te dan una paga?
  14.   ¿Cuánto te dan?  ¿Tienes que hacer algo a cambio?

VOCABULARIO ÚTIL

  • Si saco malas notas, me echan una bronca. If I get bad results, they give out to me.
  • Mi hermano mayor siempre se mete conmigo. My older brother always pick  on me.
  • A mi hermana, no le aguanto. I can’t stand my sister.
  • Cuando éramos pequeños, peleábamos mucho, pero ahora nos llevamos bastante bien. When we were younger, we used to fight a lot, but now we get on quite well.
  • Somos igualitos. We’re exactly the same.
  • Se nota que somos hermanos. You can tell we’re siblings.
  • Somos cinco en mi familia: mis padres, mis dos hermanos y yo. There are five in my family: my parents, my two brothers and I.
  • Paso de mi hermano pequeño- es un pesado. I can’t stand my little brother – he’s a pain.
  • Siempre me coge la ropa y luego me la devuelve sucia/rota. S/he always takes my clothes and then returns them dirty/torn.
  • Mis padres quieren que estudie mucho, pero no soy muy académico, entonces discutimos mucho. My parents want me to study a lot, but I’m not really academic, so we argue a lot.
  • Tengo que hacer algunas tareas por la casa, por ejemplo sacar la basura, arreglar y limpiar mi habitación, llenar y vaciar el lavavajillas, pasear al perro…y a cambio me dan la paga: €X al mes. I have to do some chores, eg take out the rubbish, tidy & clean my room, fill & empty the dishwasher, take the dog for a walk…and in return the give me pocket money: €X per month.
  • Claro que discutimos, pero somos familia y al fin y al cabo nos entendemos bien. Of course we argue, but we’re family, and in the end we get on well.

If there are particular questions you would like help with on your Spanish oral, please leave a comment. Likewise, if you’re not sure what the questions mean, let me know.

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