Brother, cousin

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Esaki Leo

Member
Vietnamese
How to differentiate between a male cousin and my brother whose parents are the same as the speaker, if we want to use the word "brother"? It is easy to tell a brother who is husband of sb's sister, by using the word "brother-in-law". Is there any word for a brother that implies that he is not from the same family as the speaker?
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Hello Esaki Leo, welcome to WRF.

    English uses very few terms for members of the family:

    A cousin is the son or daughter of your mother's or father's brother or sister.

    A brother is a son of your parents.

    If we do not think of family relationships, the word "brother" can be used

    (i) very informally/slang to speak to a very good male friend: "Hey brother! How are you?" However, this is best avoided.
    (ii) for a member of a religious order (particularly monks) and, in extended use, to mean someone of the same formal organisation, this does not work if you are merely working in the same company.
     

    Esaki Leo

    Member
    Vietnamese
    Thank you. Now I understand. In my native language, to refer to a cousin, a brother-in-law and a brother, we use the same word with some modification/addition. If we only see that word, we can not tell to whom it refers. In English, sb's brother is someone who has the same mother and father as him/her.
     
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    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Esaki - welcome, << --- comment deleted --- >>
    Somebody who has the same mother and father as you - brother.
    Somebody who has one parent the same, one different - half-brother.
    A brother brought into the family when one of your parents marries one of his parents - step-brother or stepbrother.
     
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