11+ Vocabulary: Family Relationships

The video below is a summary video from the first of our vocabulary booster course. To watch the first full session video click here.

Family Titles

The first activity involves matching the family relationship words to those that describe the way someone acts.

mother  maternal

father – paternal

brother – fraternal

sister – sororal

The adjectives on the right can be used to describe someone who is not related to you but acts in a similar was to one of the relatives listed above. The word ‘fraternal’ is also used to describe twins that are not identical.


Matching the roots, prefixes and suffixes to their meanings. This helps the children to understand definitions and the way words are formed. Knowing the meanings of the morphemes allows children to decode the definitions of new words they come across in the future.

“-Cede” means to go.

Examples: proceed, exceed, precede

“Anti-“ means against.

Examples: anticlockwise, antagonist

“Ante” means before.

Examples:  antedate

“Sub-” means under or close to.

Examples: submarine, submerge

“De-“ means down.

Examples: descending, decrease

“-Scend” means climb

Examples: descending, crescendo

“Pre-“ means before.

Examples: prehistoric, premature


Generation: a group of people who were born and lived around the same time.

Generally, cousins and siblings are part of the same generation and parents and their siblings are part of another generation.

Ancestor: a person in your family who lived a long time before you were born.

These tend to be people a lot older and lived a long time ago. These are people who you would have never met.

Descendant: a person that comes from a particular family member.

Predecessor: a person who holds a position before another person.

For example, the predecessor in the Royal Family is the King or Queen who came before the current.

Successor: a person or thing that comes after another.

When someone leaves a job and a new person comes in, they are their successor.

Precede: to come before something in time.

Example sentence: Grey clouds usually precede rain.

Proceed: to carry on or begin.

Antecedent: an ancestor.

Succession: the order in which you inherit a position.

This is often used to talk about the line of succession for King or Queen, so who is in line for the throne in the current generations.

We created Wordier, our sister company, to give our students the vocabulary they need to succeed. Whether you’re preparing for the 11+ or simply looking to boost your child’s English skills, Wordier has the right tool for you.


Looking for more support? Subscribe to our socials!

Our friendly Facebook community, The Happy 11+ Hub, is there to answer any and all 11 plus-related questions while our YouTube channel has dozens of 11+ tutorials for parents and kids.

Found this post helpful? Share it with a friend:


free download:
The ultimate guide to the kent 11+ exams

We’re passing on our expert knowledge to you with this free and comprehensive guide to the local 11+ exams. 

Covers: Bexley, Kent, St. Olave’s and Newstead exams

Includes: catchment areas, historical pass marks and more.