An early question in Chinese people learn is:

How many people are there in your family?
(nǐjiā yǒu jǐkǒurén)

My Chinese text book contains these example responses:

(Five people. They are my father, mother, older brother, younger brother, and me. And you?)
(My family has three people. My husband, my son, and me.)


(Your family has three people, your spouse, your son, and you, right?)

But I'm confused...

Question: Who should be counted when responding to 你家有几口人?

I'm confused in particular about the following:

  1. I'm unsure if aunties, cousins, brothers-in-law, nieces, ex-husbands, half-sisters, etc., are included.

  2. I don't know if living separately affects things (since also means home).

    When I go home 回家 (huíjiā) it's just me, but my sisters (姐姐 and 妹妹) are still my family members 家人 (jiārén). Both of these use "家".

  • bkrs:家(家庭; 人家) family; household:home;你家有几口人? usually refers to the number of people living (eating) together at your home, ( 口人 eater,mouth)
    – user6065
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 4:39
  • relatives not live in same home are excluded, we only count people live in single home. Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 1:41

4 Answers 4


It is simple-- The "家" in "你家有几口人?" always refers to "家庭" (household)

Your answer should only list the family members living in the household .

Using 口 as a classifier also indicates it only count people who eat their meals in the household.

As long as someone living in a household long term, he or she is counted as 一口

If you read Chinese novel, you would often see phrase like "我家一百一十八口性命" (One hundred and eighteen lives in my household) You can see they even counted servants.

If the question was "你家中有什麼人?" (who are in your family) Then you can include your immediate family who no longer live in the household, for example, married sister or brother who had moved out.

If you are single and live alone, you are considered independent. When people ask you "你家有几口人?" You can say "我單身一人生活". If you want to introduce your family, then you can say "我家中還有 (list of immediate family) "

  • interesting, sometimes on English we refer to people as "mouths". Such as, "At home I have to many mouths to feed" Commented Oct 6, 2020 at 6:20

In theory, '你家有几口人?' means '你家 有几口人?'. Everybody lives in the same house.

In practice, if you are single, you might want to add your siblings though they might have their own families.

If you live separately from your family(you are still single), when asked '你家有几口人?', you would be expected to introduce your immediate family including your father, mother, sisters and brothers. Not counting aunts, uncles, and etc.


It's just asking how many people are living with you(yourself included).

  1. 你家有几口人[nǐ jiā yǒu jǐ kǒu rén ] How many people are there in your family? 4个,分别是爸爸、妈妈、弟弟和我。 There are four people in my family. my father, my mother, my younger brother and me.
  2. So“你家有几口人” it includes you and your family.
  • How many people are in your household 不是 How many people are there in your family? in your family 是典型中式英语 Commented May 30 at 3:20

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