A random web search says that world writing about families space not every on the very same page when it pertains to hyphenating terms for family members relationships. For example:

A step-sister is the daughter of a step-parent to who one is no biologically related.I drew closer to my stepsister because I believed that we had something in common.

You are watching: How to write great-great-great-grandfather

This is specifically what I loved about my grand Aunt, her enthusiasm for life and living.My grandaunt’s husband was a businessman that ran a print press.

Is “adoptive mother” the exact same as “foster-mother”?Nakeita take it Jamal earlier in and also remains his dedicated foster mother.

My dad constantly speaks very highly the my good grand mother. The sister of my an excellent grand-mother, named Anne, married her very first cousin.My great-grandmother was a quarter Cherokee.

The Chicago hand-operated of Style uses these rule for family members terms that incorporate the words foster, grand, great, half, and also step:

fosterThe noun develops are open: foster mother, foster father, foster parents, foster home.The adjective creates are hyphenated: foster-home background, foster-parent role.

grand Grand compounds are closed: grandmother, grandparent, granddaughter.

greatGreat compounds space hyphenated: great-grandmother, great-great-grandfather.

Note: The OED shows great-aunt and grand-aunt. M-W has actually great-aunt and also grandaunt. Fortunately, great-aunt and also grandaunt median the exact same thing: “the aunt the one’s parent.” American speakers deserve to avoid the strange link grandaunt by sticking to great-aunt as soon as referring come that certain relationship.

halfWhen introduce to a sibling, the link is open: half sister, half brother.

stepStep compounds space closed, other than with grand and also great: stepdaughter, stepsibling, step-grandfather, step-grandparents.

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3 Responses come “Punctuation testimonial #7: household Relationships”

Cindyon October 13, 2015 11:00 am

How around in laws? the one gets me every time! Is that brother-in-law, for example?

Maeveon October 13, 2015 3:15 pm


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Mary Hodgeson October 18, 2015 5:13 pm

Is “adoptive mother” the very same as “foster-mother”?At least in British usage an adoptive parental is one who has legally adopted a child and has the very same parental rights and responsibilities together a natural parent.A foster parental is someone who looks after ~ a child either top top a temporary or a irreversible basis. Together I recognize it, an adopted child typically takes the name of the adoptive parents. A foster chid doesn’t.