How to ask, "How many people are in your family?" in Chinese - 20 Questions to Basic Fluency #5

Today we are rounding out the first five basic patterns for asking and answers questions about yourself:
 1. “What is your name?” 
2. “Where are you from?”
 3. “What do you do?” and
 4. “What do you like to do in your free time?”

If you haven't had time to answer these four questions yet, just click on them in the previous sentence and you will go back and be able to join the conversation.

Today’s question is, 5. “How many people are in your family.”  Here is today’s question and answer in Chinese:

Q: 你家有几个人?

Nǐ jiā yǒu jǐ gè rén?

How many people are in your family?

A: 我家有个人, 我太太, 两个儿子, 和我。

Wǒ jiā yǒu 
 gè rén, wǒ tàitài, liǎng gè érzi,  hé wǒ.

My family has
 four people, my wife, two sons, and I.


To tell how many people are in your family, simply replace
  with the appropriate number:
 两, 三, 四,五, 六, 七, 八, 九。(liǎng, sān, sì, wǔ, liù, qī, bā, jiǔ.)  In some places, 个 (ge) is replaced by 口(Kǒu), but the words are interchangeable in this context and do not change the meaning of the sentence.


Telling about your family members can be a little more complicated in Chinese than it is in other languages, so we won’t go into a full list of vocabulary here.  Below are some common names for family members that should be enough for you to express yourself clearly.


丈夫 - Zhàngfū ­- husband

太太 - Tàitài - wife

爸爸 - Bà ba - father

妈妈 - Māmā - mother

儿子 - Érzi – son

女儿 - Nǚ'ér - daughter

哥哥 - Gēgē - elder brother

弟弟 - Dìdì - younger brother

姐姐- Jie3jie3 – elder sister

妹妹 - Mèimei - younger sister

男朋友 - Nán péngyǒu.  - boyfriend

女朋友 - Nǚ péngyǒu. – girlfriend


What if you don't really want to talk about your family, or what if answering with a number of people seems a little awkward?  Here are some other ways to answer if you are single, if you are in a relationship or if you'd just like to gracefully sidestep the question. 


我结婚了。- Wǒ jiéhūn le. – I’m married

我离婚了。- Wǒ líhūn le. – I’m divorced.

我有伴。- Wǒ yǒu bàn. – I’m in a relationship.

我是单身。- Wǒ shì dānshēn. – I’m single.


For pronunciation of family vocabulary, check out this page on
 Learn Chinese Everyday.


Now it’s your turn.  Try to tell about your family in the reply below.

(photo credit

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Comment by Ethan Nelson on February 21, 2013 at 3:58am

你好。  How would I say my family is split apart?


Comment by Melina Abarca on May 22, 2012 at 3:27am

谢谢  :D

Comment by Shu on May 19, 2012 at 11:38am

Hi Melina,

Your sentence is basically fine. Just a bit of change:

我 的 家 有 两 个 人。我 的 女朋友 和 我。 我们 不是 结婚了。我 不是 有伴。 我 不 知道。


我 的 家 有 两 个 人。我 的 女朋友 和 我。 我们 没有 结婚。我 没有伴。 我 不 知道。

Just please remember, we use mei2 没to negate 有you3; never say不是有 bu2 shi4 you3. The rest of your sentence is perfect. Keep up the good work!

Comment by Melina Abarca on May 19, 2012 at 8:57am

我 的 家 有 两 个 人。我 的 女朋友 和 我。 我们 不是 结婚了。我 不是 有伴。 我 不 知道。 

Comment by Shu on December 29, 2011 at 7:51am

Excellent post, Matt,

I sent you a message about it. Have a good new year.

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