Family vs. Families

The word “family” and “families” are quite confusing due to their same spelling, structure, and pronunciation. Both of these words seem to be the same, but in reality, they are quite different from each other with different meanings and usage.

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The main difference between these two words is the relation. A word family is a singular form that is used to refer to a group of people that have a close relationship with each other. For example, grandparents, mother, father, children, brother, and sister. The word families is a plural form that is used to refer to a group of people belonging to different households who do not have a close relationship with each other. For example, a group of two parents and their children living together as a unit.

Look at these two sentences to understand the difference between these two terms.

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Example

“Yesterday, I went to lunch with my family.”

“My cousin sisters brought their families to the gathering.”

Comparison Chart

 FamilyFamilies
OriginEarly in the 15th century, the word “family” was first time used by LatinsThe word “families” is derived from the word “family.”
DefinitionA family is an English word that is used to depict a group of people closely related by blood as parents, children, uncle, aunts, and cousinsA word families is used to define a group of relatives who live together as a nuclear unit or people who live together in a neighborhood
Type singular word and a collective nounplural word with collective nature
UsageA word family used for a group of people that are closely related to each other and usually live in the same houseFamilies is a term used for a group of different people from different houses
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What is Family?

English Language is full of confusing words with the same pronunciation and spelling but with different meanings. Same is the case with the word family & families.

A family is a singular word  that is used as a collective noun to refer to a group of persons living together in the same house or are closely related to each other by blood. The most common example of a family is a home where you are living with your mother, father, brother, sister, or with your grandparents.

In a nutshell, a group of people having blood relationships and belonging from the same home are termed under the roof of family.

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Examples

  • We are one big happy family.
  • Sara is the eldest in the family.
  • Everyone in my family wakes up early.
  • I am the first doctor in my family.
  • I will get in touch with your family.

These examples are taken to clarify our concept and the difference of family from families.

What are Families?

The term “Families” is a plural word that is often confused with the word “Family”. A word family is used for a group of people living together in a unit (in the same house) whereas the word families are used for a group of people living together in different houses or belonging to a diversity of hierarchy of relations.

Example

There is a girl named Sara, the number of people sharing a blood relationship with Sara is considered her family. The family of Sara includes her father, her mother, her sister, her brother, etc. There is another boy named Ali comprised of a family of mother, father, daughter, son, and wife. Both of these groups of people will be separately considered as a family (The family of Sara & The family of Ali) but if we collectively call them, they will be considered as Families.

Key Differences

  1. Family is a singular word of English language, while Families is a plural word of English Language.
  2. A family is a term used to refer to a group of people closely related to each other or people living in the same household whereas the term families are used to refer to a group of people belonging to different houses.
  3. The term family is a collective noun used for a single connected group of people while the term families include a variety of groups.

Comparison Video

Conclusion

Family and families are two words of English Language that are often confused as the same word, but they both are different words with different usage. The main difference between them is that a word family is a singular form, whereas families are the plural form. Both of these words are used for a different group of people.

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