How many people are there in my family?

As your conversation continues, the subject of family may arise and you may be asked, “How many people are there in your family?” In the American conception, “my family” includes spouse and children, so Americans may be surprised if you include all three generations of your family. This is because Americans with children tend not to live with their own parents.

When talking about the other person’s family members, Japanese tend to refer to otaku no musuko–san or goshujin rather than mentioning them by name. In the United States, however, constantly referring to “your son” or “your husband” is less natural than using the person’s name. If the son’s name is Robert and the husband’s name is Jack, then use those names. When you are with your family or representing your family, rather than using “I,” it is more natural to use “we” or “my wife and I.”