# We are six members or we are 6 people in the family?

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Can we use the word member when we talk about our family?

Example we are six members / or we are 6 people in the family

To answer this question could be done very simply or be quite complicated.

Let’s keep it as simple as possible.

Both clauses tell us that there are six individuals in this family. The differences relate more to different word meanings and the focus of the sentence clause.

We are six members.

The word member is correctly used here in its plural form to speak about people belonging to something, in this case, a family.

This sentence, however, allows for more members to belong to this family. Because the person speaking is talking specifically about themselves and the other five, it is possible the group may have many more members. Here are some examples.

• We are six members of the United Nations; there are another 187 members too.
• We are only a few of the members of the United Nations.

We are 6 people in the family.

The sentence is more a  matter-of-fact, a statement. It would make the person listening think that there are only six people in this person’s family and no more.

Although the speaker is talking about themselves and the other five just like our first sentence, he or she has not allowed any room for more members because they used the forceful, definite expression, we are, at the beginning.

Also, by saying the family, they have used a definite article to mean the complete family.

Further, by using people, instead of members, this could also mean that they are not all part of the same branch of the family. That is, one may be an uncle and the other a nephew who live apart from each other.

The word, people, can be used in other ways and influence the meaning further, but for the purpose of this answer, what we have mentioned is enough.

To summarize, while both sentences are acceptable, we are six members, would be the preferred way of telling someone how many people are in your immediate family, especially if your extended family, Uncles, Aunts, Cousins and so on are many.

P.S.

When writing numbers in sentences, there are two guidelines you can follow.

1. If the number is nine or less, use the word. From 10 upwards write the numerical number.

OR

1. If a number can be written in two words or less, including a hyphen, then write the number, for example, thirty-one, sixty-three. That means from 101 upwards you would write the numerical number.

Yes, you can use member to describe people who are in your family!

Member is a good word to use if you are talking about any type of group. As long as the group is made of people, they are members of it! Some examples of groups that people can be members of include the following:

• Member of a dance club
• Member at a gym
• Member of a Board of Directors
• Member of a subscription service
• Member of a loyalty program

Notice that you can say someone is a “member of” something or “member at” a place. You could also use the group’s name to describe what the person is a member of, such as in the following examples:

• Dance club member
• Gym member
• Board of Directors member
• Subscription service member
• Loyalty program member

In some cases, you can use member to describe things that are alive as well. This is especially true of things in a particular category. For example, a monkey is the member of the Mammalia class of living things.

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