View Full Version : French Relations

09-01-2013, 12:35 PM

I hope someone here has a French speaker in the family or can help with this.

I've been living in France for 20 years and have got to grips with the confusion between "belle mere" meaning either mother-in-law or step-mother. In my French conversation class this morning we were discussing this and the confusion between "mes petits enfants" meaning "my small children" or "my grandchildren". Someone then asked how she would describe the children of her nieces and nephews. She is their great aunt (grande tante) but are they her "petits nieces et neuves"? Our French 'teacher' who is French didn't know the answer to this one.

Any ideas?


09-01-2013, 12:44 PM
"petits nieces et neuves"? Should this be neveaux? In which case, the translation would be little nieces and nephews. This would sit quite nicely with phrases that I have heard for great aunts and uncles - grande tantes et oncles, as you have said - grande also translating as "big".

Mind you, this is from a friend who calls their daughter their "petite bout de chou" (little scrap of cabbage.... :ihih: )

09-01-2013, 1:38 PM
According to my French dictionary it should be petit-neveu or petit-niece (sorry can't do the accent on niece), cicilysmith

09-01-2013, 2:58 PM
There are definitions of all sorts of French relations here:


where arrière-neveu and arrière-nièce are given as synonyms of petit-neveu and petite-nièce, respectively.

09-01-2013, 6:21 PM
Excellent. The website referred to answered my question and loads I hadn't even thought of! My classmates and I are very grateful.