Do both of the following two phrases sound natural?

  1. paternal uncle

  2. uncle from father's side

Thank you.

  • 2
    In the UK in ordinary conversation we might say 'a relative on my father's (or mother's) side'. Saying 'paternal' or 'maternal' about relatives is more formal Commented Mar 6, 2023 at 9:37

1 Answer 1


Paternal uncle or father's brother would be natural. We might say on the father's side for more remote relationships, but since "uncle on the father's side" means "father's brother", we're unlikely to use the longer expression.

But it's quite likely that the most natural phrase for what you want is "uncle". While we have ways of distinguishing the relationship when required, most of the time English speakers don't make the disinction.

If I introduce my mother's brother to somebody in Swedish, I have to say min morbror, and similarly in many other languages; but in English most of the time I would just say "This is my uncle".

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