I am little bit confuse with the definition of extended family and immediate family. I have been living with my husband for three years in a apartment. Now in respect to this statement which one is my immediate family and which one is my extended family? My husband and me is it my immediate family? My parents' family and in laws family, are those my extended families?

  • Pretty sure that there’s a legal definition of this, though you might want to ask the Law StackExchange for that.
    – nick012000
    May 22, 2019 at 21:23

2 Answers 2


If you were looking at a family tree, your immediate family would be those who are directly linked to you. (Parents, siblings, children, spouse)

Whereas your extended family is anyone you are related too but would have to draw more than one line on a family tree to get from them to you. (Grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, etc.)

  • "extended family" can also be used to mean people to whom one is not related at all, but who serve in the social role of a family member, particularly if they live with or near one, or are frequently present in one's life. May 22, 2019 at 22:09
  • 1
    Welcome to English Language Learners and thanks for your answer. Just a couple of suggestions for you: While your answer is correct it might be a little obscure for a non-native speaker who might not know what a family tree is. Because the questioner asks about her husband, parents and in-laws it might be a good idea to explain in terms of those relatives for her.
    – dwilli
    May 23, 2019 at 4:06

Generally, your parents, siblings, spouses, and children are considered immediate family. Any grandparents/children, cousins, uncles, aunts, or otherwise would be your extended family.

You living with your husband is living with immediate family. Your parents are still considered immediate family.

I, personally, would would consider your in-laws to be extended family, but could see a possible argument for them to be considered immediate family upon marriage.

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