Difference Between
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Family vs. Families: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Family refers to a group related by blood, marriage, or adoption; families is the plural form, indicating more than one such group.
Family vs. Families

Key Differences

Family is a singular noun, referring to a single unit of individuals related by blood, marriage, or adoption. Families, the plural form, denotes more than one of these units.
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Family is used when talking about one group of related individuals. Families refers to multiple groups, often used in discussions involving broader social or demographic contexts.
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Family often conveys a sense of unity and closeness within a single group. Families imply a diversity of structures, traditions, and dynamics across different groups.
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In a narrative, family is typically used to describe a central unit, while families can be used to contrast or compare different households or kinship structures.
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In statistics or analysis, family is used when examining a specific household, while families refer to aggregate data or trends across multiple households.
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Comparison Chart

Number

Singular
Plural
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Context

Refers to one unit of related individuals
Refers to multiple such units
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Connotation

Unity and closeness within a single group
Diversity across different groups
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Usage in Narratives

Describes a central household unit
Used to contrast or compare multiple units
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Application in Analysis

Examining a specific household
Referring to trends or data across many households
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Family and Families Definitions

Family

A group of related things or people.
The violin family of musical instruments includes violas and cellos.
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Families

Different households or kinship groups.
The community center offers programs for families of all sizes.
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Family

A fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children.
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Families

Groups of people or things with common characteristics.
The families of languages spoken in Europe are diverse.
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Family

The children of one of these groups
She raised a large family.
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Families

Collections or groups of similar or related items.
The museum's exhibit showcased families of ancient pottery.
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Family

A group of persons related by descent or marriage
My whole family, including my cousins, gets together once a year. See Usage Note at collective noun.
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Families

Plural of family, indicating multiple groups of related individuals.
Several families in the neighborhood collaborated on the block party.
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Family

People in the same line of descent; lineage
Comes from an old Virginia family.
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Families

Multiple taxonomic families in biology.
The exhibition featured butterflies from different families.
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Family

(Obsolete) All the members of a household living under one roof.
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Families

A fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children.
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Family

A locally independent organized crime unit, as of the Cosa Nostra.
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Families

The children of one of these groups
She raised a large family.
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Family

A group of like things; a class
The family of brass instruments.
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Families

A group of persons related by descent or marriage
My whole family, including my cousins, gets together once a year. See Usage Note at collective noun.
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Family

A group of individuals derived from a common stock
The family of human beings.
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Families

People in the same line of descent; lineage
Comes from an old Virginia family.
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Family

(Biology) A taxonomic category of related organisms ranking below an order and above a genus. A family usually consists of several genera.
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Families

(Obsolete) All the members of a household living under one roof.
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Family

(Linguistics) A group of languages descended from the same parent language, such as the Indo-European language family.
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Families

A locally independent organized crime unit, as of the Cosa Nostra.
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Family

(Mathematics) A set of functions or surfaces that can be generated by varying the parameters of a general equation.
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Families

A group of like things; a class
The family of brass instruments.
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Family

A group of elements with similar chemical properties.
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Families

A group of individuals derived from a common stock
The family of human beings.
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Family

A vertical column in the periodic table of elements.
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Families

(Biology) A taxonomic category of related organisms ranking below an order and above a genus. A family usually consists of several genera.
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Family

(Physics) Any of the three generations of elementary fermions.
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Families

(Linguistics) A group of languages descended from the same parent language, such as the Indo-European language family.
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Family

Of or having to do with a family
Family problems.
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Families

(Mathematics) A set of functions or surfaces that can be generated by varying the parameters of a general equation.
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Family

Being suitable for a family
Family movies.
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Families

A group of elements with similar chemical properties.
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Family

(countable) A group of people who are closely related to one another (by blood, marriage or adoption); kin; in particular, a set of parents and their children; an immediate family.
Our family lives in town.
This is a family restaurant, stop making out!
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Families

A vertical column in the periodic table of elements.
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Family

(countable) An extended family: a group of people who are related to one another by blood or marriage.
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Families

(Physics) Any of the three generations of elementary fermions.
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Family

(countable) A nuclear family: a mother and father who are married and cohabiting and their child or children.
The cultural struggle is for the survival of family values against all manner of atheistic amorality.
We must preserve the family unit if we want to save civilisation!
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Families

Of or having to do with a family
Family problems.
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Family

(uncountable) Members of one's family collectively.
I have a lot of family in Australia.
He has a sister, but no other family.
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Families

Being suitable for a family
Family movies.
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Family

(countable) A (close-knit) group of people related by blood, friendship, marriage, law, or custom, especially if they live or work together.
Crime family, Mafia family
This is my fraternity family at the university.
Our company is one big happy family.
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Families

Inflection of family
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Family

(uncountable) Lineage, especially honorable or noble lineage.
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Family

A category in the classification of organisms, ranking below order and above genus; a taxon at that rank.
Magnolias belong to the family Magnoliaceae.
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Family

(countable) Any group or aggregation of things classed together as kindred or related from possessing in common characteristics which distinguish them from other things of the same order.
Doliracetam is a drug from the racetam family.
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Family

A collection of sets, especially of subsets of a given set.
Let \mathcal F be a family of subsets over S.
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Family

A group of instruments having the same basic method of tone production.
The brass family;
The violin family
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Family

A group of languages believed to have descended from the same ancestral language.
The Indo-European language family;
The Afroasiatic language family
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Family

Suitable for children and adults.
It's not good for a date, it's a family restaurant.
Some animated movies are not just for kids, they are family movies.
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Family

(slang) Homosexual.
I knew he was family when I first met him.
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Family

The collective body of persons who live in one house, and under one head or manager; a household, including parents, children, and servants, and, as the case may be, lodgers or boarders.
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Family

The group comprising a husband and wife and their dependent children, constituting a fundamental unit in the organization of society.
The welfare of the family underlies the welfare of society.
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Family

Those who descend from one common progenitor; a tribe, clan, or race; kindred; house; as, the human family; the family of Abraham; the father of a family.
Go ! and pretend your family is young.
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Family

Course of descent; genealogy; line of ancestors; lineage.
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Family

Honorable descent; noble or respectable stock; as, a man of family.
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Family

A group of kindred or closely related individuals; as, a family of languages; a family of States; the chlorine family.
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Family

A group of organisms, either animal or vegetable, related by certain points of resemblance in structure or development, more comprehensive than a genus, because it is usually based on fewer or less pronounced points of likeness. In Zoology a family is less comprehesive than an order; in botany it is often considered the same thing as an order.
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Family

A social unit living together;
He moved his family to Virginia
It was a good Christian household
I waited until the whole house was asleep
The teacher asked how many people made up his home
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Family

Primary social group; parents and children;
He wanted to have a good job before starting a family
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Family

People descended from a common ancestor;
His family has lived in Massachusetts since the Mayflower
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Family

A collection of things sharing a common attribute;
There are two classes of detergents
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Family

An association of people who share common beliefs or activities;
The message was addressed not just to employees but to every member of the company family
The church welcomed new members into its fellowship
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Family

(biology) a taxonomic group containing one or more genera;
Sharks belong to the fish family
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Family

A person having kinship with another or others;
He's kin
He's family
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Family

A loose affiliation of gangsters in charge of organized criminal activities
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Family

A group consisting of parents and children living together.
The Johnson family went on a camping trip every summer.
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Family

All the descendants of a common ancestor.
Our family tree shows a long line of artisans.
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Family

A group of people related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
She considered her close friends to be part of her family.
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Family

A category of taxonomic classification.
Lions and tigers belong to the cat family.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

How do families differ culturally?

Families vary in size, structure, and traditions across different cultures.
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What is a family?

A family is a group of individuals related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
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What’s a nuclear family?

A nuclear family is a unit consisting of two parents and their children.
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Is a single person considered a family?

In some contexts, a single individual can constitute a family unit.
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What are families?

Families are multiple groups of individuals, each group forming a family.
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Can pets be considered family?

Many people consider their pets as part of their family.
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How do governments support families?

Governments provide support through policies like tax benefits and child care.
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What challenges do modern families face?

Modern families face challenges like balancing work-life, technology influences, and economic pressures.
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Can family include friends?

Yes, in a broader sense, family can include very close friends or community members.
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How do families celebrate traditions?

Families celebrate traditions through rituals, gatherings, and cultural practices.
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How has the concept of family evolved?

The concept of family has evolved to include diverse structures and dynamics.
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What is family therapy?

Family therapy is a type of psychological counseling that helps family members improve communication and resolve conflicts.
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Are families always related by blood?

No, families can also include adopted members or in-laws.
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What’s an extended family?

An extended family includes relatives beyond the nuclear family, like grandparents.
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Is family important for child development?

Yes, the family environment plays a crucial role in a child's development.
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Can family dynamics affect mental health?

Yes, family dynamics can significantly impact an individual's mental health.
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Are family values universal?

While some values are common, family values can vary greatly between cultures.
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What role do families play in education?

Families play a key role in supporting and motivating children's education.
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Can families be formed through adoption?

Yes, families can be formed by adopting children.
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Do families play a role in society?

Yes, families are fundamental units that contribute to the structure of society.
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Nov 13, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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