4

My understanding is that siblings, though not often used, refers to brothers and sisters, but my question is whether I can include myself in this term. In other words are both of the following statements correct:

  1. I have two siblings, that is one brother and one sister
  2. We are three siblings, that is me, my brother and my sister

In norwegian this would be correct when using the word "søsken". If not correct does there exist a synonym to be used instead of sibling?

4

I have two siblings, that is, one brother and one sister.

We are three siblings, that is, my brother, my sister, and me.

There is nothing wrong with these sentences. However, the use of the word "sibling" is usually formal.

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It's true that in English, sibling isn't the most common word in the world, but I've noticed that it's more common now than it was a generation ago.

I have two siblings, that is, one brother and one sister is fine; a little more natural would be I have two siblings -- a brother and a sister.

We are three siblings, that is, my brother, my sister, and me sounds a bit awkward to me. It would be more common to say, "There are three children in our family. I have an older brother and a younger sister." (For example.)

This isn't a synonym, but it is a natural alternative to your construction.

Hope this helps!

  • Yes. I suppose it is technically correct to say, "There are 3 siblings in my family" or "I am one of three siblings". But I've never heard anyone say that. We say, "There are 3 children in my family" or "I am one of three children." We really only use siblings when speaking of people other than ourselves who are of mixed gender, like, "I have three siblings: two brothers and a sister." – Jay Mar 30 '15 at 13:37
  • @Jay, Yeah, okay, let me rewrite that -- "There were three of us growing up, me, my older brother, and my younger sister." Does that sound better? (I guess a lot depends on how formal or informal you're trying to be...) Bottom line, the poster wants to know if it's okay to use "sibling" on an everyday basis. 40 years ago I would have said it sounds stilted, but now I hear it frequently, so... my answer is yes, it's fine to use "sibling;" and here are some ways around it, to expand your options. – aparente001 Mar 30 '15 at 18:05
  • @aparente001, Actually I knew that sibling is not often used, but I was wondering more if it only applied to my brothers and sisters, and was disallowed when including myself. – holroy Mar 30 '15 at 21:35
  • Thanks for clarifying. It only works for the other children in your family. When you talk about your siblings, that set of people does indeed exclude you. If you want to include yourself, you could say "children" or "offspring." (The latter might sound a little weird, though.) Also I do want to reiterate that nowadays, at least in the US, among people younger than about 50, "sibling" is a perfectly common word. – aparente001 Apr 5 '15 at 3:57
  • Well, here is a quasi-exception: "Even with my sister Sasha, if you look beyond the sibling tie, there is nothing there." from collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/sibling – aparente001 Apr 5 '15 at 4:01

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