[IELTS Vocabulary] Family and relationships

ielts vocabulary topic family and relationships

This vocabulary list is for reference only. Your Lexical Resource scores are calculated based on the overall level of vocabulary used in your writing and speaking answers. To improve your Lexical Resource scores, it is necessary that you improve your overall level of vocabulary.

However, skillfully incorporating these words in your writing and speaking answers together with a good vocabulary level will increase the chance of enhanced Lexical Recourse scores.

Vocabulary list

1. Changing Family Structures

Word/PhraseTypeMeaningExample
Blended familyNoun phraseFamily consisting of stepparents and children from previous relationshipsMany blended families navigate unique dynamics and relationships.
Dual-income householdNoun phraseA family unit consisting of parents and their childrenDual-income households have become increasingly common.
Nuclear familyNoun phraseFamily unit consisting of parents and their childrenThe nuclear family has traditionally been the norm in many societies.
Single-parent householdNoun phraseA household with one parent responsible for caregivingSingle-parent households face unique challenges and strengths.

2. Balancing Work and Family Life

Word/PhraseTypeMeaningExample
FlextimeNounFlexible work schedule allowing employees to choose their hoursFlextime arrangements can help employees balance work and family commitments.
Parental leaveNoun phraseTime off from work granted to new parentsMany countries offer parental leave to support work-life balance.
Quality timeNoun phraseTime spent with family or loved onesSpending quality time with family strengthens relationships.
TelecommutingNounWorking from a remote locationTelecommuting offers flexibility in balancing work and family life.

3. Role of Extended Family

Word/PhraseTypeMeaningExample
CaregivingNounProviding care and support to family membersCaregiving responsibilities may extend to members of the extended family.
IntergenerationalAdjectiveInvolving multiple generationsIntergenerational relationships are important in extended families.
Support networkNoun phraseSystem of individuals providing assistance and encouragementExtended families often serve as a support network in times of need.
Multigenerational householdNoun phraseA household comprising members of different generationsMultigenerational households foster close family ties and support.

Idioms for speaking

These are idioms and phrases that use topic-related figures of speech. They can also be used in different contexts.

IdiomDefinitionExample
Blood is thicker than waterFamily ties are stronger than other relationships.“Even though we argue sometimes, I know that blood is thicker than water, and my family will always support me.”
Break the iceTo initiate conversation or social interaction in a situation.“Playing a game together helped break the ice at the family reunion.”
Chip off the old blockA person who resembles one of their parents in character or behavior.“My son is a chip off the old block; he’s just as stubborn as his father.”
Close-knit familyA family with strong emotional bonds and close relationships.“Growing up in a close-knit family taught me the value of love and support.”
Family treeA diagram showing the relationships between members of a family.“We created a family tree to trace our ancestry back several generations.”
Home away from homeA place, other than one’s home, where one feels comfortable and welcome.“My best friend’s house feels like a home away from home; I’m always welcome there.”
Like father, like sonA son who resembles his father in behavior or character traits.“He’s passionate about music, just like his father; like father, like son.”
Love at first sightFalling in love immediately upon meeting someone for the first time.“When they met at the party, it was love at first sight.”
Quality timeTime spent with loved ones, focused on meaningful interaction.“We cherish our weekly family dinners as quality time to catch up and bond.”
Skeletons in the closetFamily secrets or embarrassing past experiences.“Every family has skeletons in the closet; some stories are better left untold.”
Tie the knotTo get married; to formalize a romantic relationship.“After dating for years, they decided it was time to tie the knot.”
Wear the pants in the familyTo be the dominant or authoritative figure in a family or relationship.“Although she’s the quieter one, she definitely wears the pants in the family.”
Birds of a feather flock togetherPeople who are similar in character or interests tend to associate with each other.“They say birds of a feather flock together, which is why they have such a strong bond.”
Generation gapDifferences in opinions, values, and attitudes between different generations.“There’s often a generation gap between parents and children due to cultural differences.”
Love is blindLove overlooks flaws or imperfections in the loved one.“Despite his faults, she loves him deeply; they say love is blind.”
Meet one’s matchTo encounter someone who is equal in skill or ability.“In their debates, she met her match with her equally argumentative cousin.”
Rolling in the deepBeing deeply involved or committed to something, often emotionally.“After years of marriage, they’re still rolling in the deep; their love is stronger than ever.”
Start a familyTo begin having children and raising a family.“They got married last year and are already talking about starting a family.”
The apple doesn’t fall far from the treeChildren often inherit characteristics or traits from their parents.“He’s a talented musician, just like his father; the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Ties that bindStrong emotional connections or bonds within a family or relationship.“Despite living far apart, the ties that bind our family remain strong.”

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Huyen Nguyen
Huyen Nguyen

Founder of Practice9, creator of IELTS with Huyen. Huyen has 10 years of experience with IELTS, overall 8.5.

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