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Someone told me that we can't use brother or sister with cousin. Please check the examples and let me know which one is correct?

  1. My cousin brother asked me to come with him
  2. My cousin asked me to come with him

Which one is correct?

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    You are expected to explain what you intend to express. Do you mean first cousins? In English, first cousins are not called brother-cousins / cousin-brothers. Generally, they're simply called cousins, unless you need to specify first, second, etc. – Em. Dec 31 '16 at 10:04
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A quick search online shows that 'cousin brother' and 'cousin sister' are used in parts of India to mean 'male cousin' and 'female cousin'. This is not standard English, and will confuse almost everyone. Say 'cousin'. If you have to, or want to, make it clear that your cousin is male, say 'male cousin' (even that sounds strange), say his name (but that only works if your cousin has a typical male name) or say 'he' very soon afterwards.

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Other than the missing possessive in #2 (My cousin's brother), Neither are incorrect, but it would be common practice to follow the path of least resistance when referring to family members. For example, 'my cousin's brother' is also, by definition, my cousin, therefore I would refer to him as such. i.e.

My cousin asked me to come with him.

That being said, if I was speaking to a friend who was also very familiar with my cousin (perhaps we all share the same circle of friends), but not necessarily familiar with the rest of my cousin's family, including her brother, I might paint the picture more clearly by making the connections in the sentence. i.e.

My cousin's brother asked me to come with him.

  • Could be OP means "my cousin's brother-in-law". Who is, technically, still your cousin but they might have a different word for that relationship. – Andrew Dec 31 '16 at 7:56
  • @mike, I have the same comment as to Peter, you apparently misunderstood the question. It is not asking about "cousin's brother" but "cousin brother", which is something different, as explained in Sidney's answer. – wondering May 19 '17 at 8:53
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Is this a trick question?

The reason you don't use "sister" or "brother" with "cousin" is because the "sister" or brother" would also be another cousin of yours.

If your cousin's brother or sister is a "half-" sibling (half-brother or half-sister), they would be your "half-cousin".

In your example, the second sentence is correct

My cousin asked me to come with him.

You can identify the different cousins either by their name or their brith order.

my cousin Bob
my cousin Mary
my older cousin
my younger cousin

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    you apparently misunderstood the question. It is not asking about "cousin's brother" but "cousin brother", which is something different, as explained in Sidney's answer. – wondering May 19 '17 at 8:51
  • I see, it's even a dialect usage, who would've known? – Peter May 19 '17 at 14:44
  • Yeah, I wouldn't have known without having lived in India, where this was definitely confusing me. So to your answer - no, it is not a trick question:-) – wondering May 19 '17 at 14:50
  • To me, it would make more sense to use brother cousin, but would one say to one's cousin brother: "Yo bro!"? – Peter May 19 '17 at 14:53
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My cousin brother asked me to come with him.

My cousin asked me to come with him.

The latter is more approriate and idiomatic than the former.

The use of "brother" in the first sentence is redundant as the use of the pronoun "him" (for your cousin) indicates that you are talking about a male cousin.

You can use the phrases male cousin and female cousin in other types of sentences. For example:

I have three male cousins and two female cousins. The phrases cousin brother and cousin sister are common in India and Pakistan.

  • I would take that a step farther. It's not just a matter of idiom or appropriateness. "My cousin brother" is wrong, and is an expression that a native speaker will not understand (if the intent was to convey "male cousin" as your post and some others seem to suggest). – PMV Jan 1 '17 at 4:09
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I was taught that saying cousin brother or sister is wrong, cos your cousin can't still be your sister or brother as we all know that there's a big difference between both.. Your sister or brother is someone from same parents while cousins are your parents siblings children .. If one want to specify one should rather say Female or Male cousin.

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