Suppose a young person is going to separate from his family and live alone! He is talking to an elderly who is familiar with he and his family regarding this matter; the person is going make sure if this is a logical action in his age and asks the young man whether he is emotionally attached to his family or not;

Does the bold construction below sound idiomatic and natural in English:

The familiar person says:
- Don't you have any family dependence?
The young man answers:
- Not at all! I have no family dependence.


No, that expression is not a natural one in English. Most results I can find for it are the two words as items in a list ("family, dependence, and ...") or are to do with some obscure bit of physics.

You could say "family loyalty", if you mean a sense that one should care about and act in the interests of your family. You could say "emotional attachment" or "emotional ties" ("to your family"). You could say "family feeling", which is an emotive phrase. You could even ask "don't you have any love for your family?".

Dependence suggests a necessary relationship, that a person depends on someone or something in a way that cannot easily be cast aside - financial support, an almost pathological attachment, or dependence on a drug. It doesn't refer to normal feelings that people have for one another.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Judging by the downvotes, I'm starting to think somebody just doesn't like this topic. :) – Don B. Apr 3 '19 at 17:55
  • 1
    @DonB. Well, they ought to downvote the question rather than the answers 😛😉 – SamBC Apr 3 '19 at 18:15
  • @Don B. thank you for your good attention. :) – A-friend Apr 3 '19 at 19:29

No, neither use of "family dependence" sounds natural. I would rephrase the sentences like this:

Question: "Do you have any emotional ties with your family at all?"

Answer: "No, I don't have any emotional ties with my family. None at all."

| improve this answer | |
  • what about "emotional attachment"? Would it be possible to substitute it with "enotional ties"? Does it work naturally in the same sense? – A-friend Apr 3 '19 at 6:15
  • That would be ok. "Do you have any emotional attachment to your family at all?" Yes, I think it works as a natural expression. – Don B. Apr 3 '19 at 18:13

To describe a person by the term you suggested, you would use "dependent" which means a person who depends on or needs someone or something for aid, support, and favor. Dictionary definition

So the elderly family member (not familiar although it can mean buddy or companion, it still doesn't mean a family member) would ask:

-- Aren't you dependent on your family?

-- No, I'm not.


-- Not at all.

  • Your proposed answer is very redundant, that's why I separated what you used in two answers.

But what the elder wants to make sure of is whether or not that teenager is emotionally attached to his family. Therefore, "dependent" is not what you are looking for.

You can simply use "attached" or "close":

Aren't you very close/attached to your family?

"Close" can be used as an adjective to describe relationships. People who are close know each other very well and like each other a lot, or who see and talk to each other pretty much. Cambridge definition

| improve this answer | |

"Dependence" is surely not idiomatic English in this context. Grammatically, "dependence" (as well as "attachment") is OK. But nobody would use it - considering native English speakers. Maybe with the exception of some professionals dealing with family dynamics, counseling...

The elder might ask:

  • Don't you love them any longer?


  • Do you hate them so much?


  • Don't they mean anything to you any longer?


  • Don't you care about how they feel about you leaving?

or it can even go down to:

  • You think you do not need them (or their help) any longer?

The exact question depends on what you want to say in the context. I provided just a few examples.

The answers to these questions will vary accordingly.

| improve this answer | |
  • Sorry @virolino for the typo. I editted my question! – A-friend Apr 2 '19 at 11:40
  • I updated my answer. ;) – virolino Apr 2 '19 at 11:48
  • Thank you very much @virolino; but what about "family attachment"; does it work here naturaly? – A-friend Apr 2 '19 at 12:02
  • 1
    @virolino I mean, “Don’t you love your family any longer?” rather than “Don’t you love us any longer?” etc. It might not be clear to the OP since they specifically asked about this situation where someone else questions the young man. – Mixolydian Apr 2 '19 at 13:20
  • 1
    Sorry, I did not get the part with the "elder, but not family". I will update. Thank you a bunch. – virolino Apr 2 '19 at 13:22

I agree with @virolino that “family dependence” sounds strange here. Some other suggestions:

Don’t you want to maintain ties with your family?

Don’t you want to maintain your family ties?

Don’t you care about your family?

Don’t you have any regard for your family?

Don’t you have an emotional attachment to your family?

Don’t you want to preserve the connection you and your family have?

I think if you use “family” as an adjective it sounds strange unless it’s part of a familiar/idiomatic phrase like “family ties”. “Family attachment” and “family dependence” might be understood but neither of them sounds natural to me.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.