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We live in a time when it has become common for families to break up and for new families to come together. Today, tomorrow, and Friday, we're going to look at three words to describe members of these "mix-and-match" family groups.

Today's LessonCATEGORY: Problem Vocabulary


  • Your stepmother is your father's wife, but not your real mother. We also say stepfather and stepparent.

    Your stepbrother is your stepparent's son from a previous marriage. We also say stepsister.

    Your stepchild is your wife's (or husband's) child from a previous marriage. We also say stepson and stepdaughter.

    Be careful:
    The words stepmother and stepfather do not have the negative image of the Japanese 継母, so they can be used freely in any situation.
  • stepmother  は、父親の妻であっても自分産みの親ではない人のことをさします。つまり継母という意味です。stepfather  (継父)、 stepparent  (継父または継母)という言い方もあります。

    継父か継母の連れ子が男子の場合、その子供は stepbrother  になります。女の子の場合は stepsister  といいます。

    配偶者の連れ子のことを stepchild  といいます。男の子の場合は stepson女の子の場合は stepdaughter  といいます。

    stepmother  や stepfather  という言葉には、日本語の「ままはは」のようなネガティブなイメージはないので、どんな場合にも使えます。


  1. Cinderella's stepmother didn't let her go to the ball. She wanted one of her own daughters to marry the prince.
  2. I don't get along with my stepfather very well. He could never take the place of my real father.
  3. I don't really know my stepbrothers. I was no longer living at home when my father remarried. 

Take care!