10 English Collocations With Family

Here you will learn useful English collocations with family. English fixed expressions will help you to:

  1. become more fluent
  2. speak faster
  3. sound like a native speaker

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Speak better English with Harry - Episode 329

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English collocations with family

English collocations with family. Advanced English learning. English lessons on Zoom at www.englishlessonviaskype.com #learnenglish #englishlessons #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles

Hi, there this is Harry and welcome back to another English learning podcast episode where I try to help you to get a better understanding of the  English language. I try to help you with English grammar, pronunciation, understanding of the use of English phrasal verbs and idioms. In this particular podcast episode, we’re going to look at collocations and in particular collocations with family. 

I’ve split them into three parts:

  • adjective + family
  • verb + family
  • adjective + family + noun

Intermediate to Advanced English Marathon

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

INSANITY: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I’ll explain and give examples as I go through each section.

So let’s start with the adjective + family:

a close-knit family

Meaning: a family that sticks together; they are very close in terms of emotions and support, they do a lot of things together


Jane has a very close-knit family, they meet up together regularly.

a nuclear family

Meaning: a family of a couple and their underage children

Opposite: a single-parent family


Most western societies continue to view the nuclear family as the traditional family in which a married couple with their children lives apart from their other relatives. 

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We have 

an extended family

Meaning: a family that extends beyond a nuclear family and includes grandparents, brothers, sisters and other relatives


We were under pressure to have a big wedding so we sent invitations to our extended family.

a dysfunctional family

Meaning: a family in which conflict and instability are common

Perhaps, they’re not socially acceptable. 

Perhaps one or other of the children are in trouble with the police or the authorities. 

Perhaps the father has some social issues.


The defence lawyer asked the judge should take into account the fact that the boy comes from a dysfunctional family. Sending him to prison is not going to improve the situation, he needs some social help.

English collocations with family

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Let’s look then at verb + family.

to be part of a family  

It is really important to lots of people if not all of us. We’d like to be a part of a family. When we are part of a family,  we do what families do. We support each other.  Of course, we have our moments when we might a row or have disagreements. However, when our backs are to the wall, we pull together and we behave like a proper family. 


In difficult life situations, it’s good to be part of a  family. 

In the same way, it’s nice 

to belong to a  family

Meaning: to be in that family, to be included in the family activities and events


Sam lost both of his parents in a car accident when he was only 8. Another family adopted him, and he was very happy to belong to a family.

The next two verbs 

to raise a family 


to bring up a family 

can be treated the same.  

To bring up is informal, it is a phrasal verb.

To raise is the more formal verb that you could use to substitute bring up. 


It costs a lot of money to raise a family.

It requires many sacrifices to bring up a family.

English collocations with family. Advanced English learning. English lessons on Zoom at www.englishlessonviaskype.com #learnenglish #englishlessons #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles

English collocations with family

Then finally we’ve got the adjective + family + noun collocations.

close family relationships

They could be mother and son. Father and daughter. Father and son. Hopefully, the siblings have close family relationships as well. They look after each other, they are there to support each other and so on.


Oh, I’d love to have a family with such close family relationships!  They go out together every  Sunday, they support each other, they speak nicely of each other. 

They have close family relationships, he’s always texting his mother. She is very supportive.  

Then we have 

strong/close family ties 

Family ties are the feelings that keep us together within a family. 

We can also say a family bond. So family ties and family bonds are very similar. Meaning no matter what happens, they stick by each other they protect each other in times of trouble. 

A bond is like glue. If you take a bit of glue and you stick two things together, it’s very hard to break them apart.  


He has strong family ties and keeps in contact with his relatives.


a family gathering/get-together 

Examples of family gatherings:

wedding, Christmas celebrations, baptism, communion, etc


Some people get stressed about the idea of a family gathering at Christmas. 

Jack is going away for a few months so we’re having a family get-together this Saturday.

English collocations with family

So let me give you those collocations with family again:

  • a close-knit family
  • a nuclear family 
  • an  extended family
  • a dysfunctional  family 
  • to be part of a  family 
  • to belong to a family 
  • to raise a  family 
  • to bring up a family
  • family relationships 
  • strong/close family ties 
  • strong/close family bond  
  • family gathering 
  • family get-together 

Hopefully, you enjoyed this podcast episode and you get something from that. See if you can use these collocations in your spoken and written English. 

If you want to contact me, you can do so on  www.englishlessonviaskype.com  

I’m always very happy to hear from you. If you want to share this with somebody else, please pass on the details.

Thanks for listening. Join me again soon.  

More information

For more information on English grammar rules, English collocations and English idioms, check out the links below:

22 Phrasal verbs for BUSINESS

When to use MAKE and DO in English?

You can always study English advanced level at Learning English with the BBC.

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