There are several shows or books called "Family matters". To me, there's a double meaning. "Matters" is either a noun, meaning "something regarding the family", or it's a verb, something like "family is important".

Is this intended ? Do you, as native speakers, understand one of the meanings more than the other ?

  • Whether the expression Family matters is intended to be ambiguous, depends entirely on the context and the speaker. However, the word matters" is often used in such ambiguous fashion. One example is the BBC radio programme entitled *Business Matters. Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 22:27
  • @RonaldSole I'm asking for when it's the title of something, there's often no context. Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 22:39
  • As you say, there is more than one definition for "matters", but you can't know which one it is without any context. I think both that you mention are popular.
    – user3169
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 1:57
  • @TeleportingGoat Without the context, there's no way of knowing. It's like asking whether the words sanction an action mean permitting it or penalising it. Only context makes the meaning clear. Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 23:37

1 Answer 1


Yes, likely it was intended.

Family is important.

Things that matter to the family. This could also often infer that it is not business to be shared outsiders. (Father's Last Will and Testament is a family matter and not to be discussed with the non-family member.)

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