I'll take one day leave for my family affair.

I'll take one day leave for my family stuff.

What's the different exactly? Or what situation is the best to use "affair", and "stuff" ?

  • stuff can mean affairs, things, and stuff ...
    – Kris
    Jul 11, 2014 at 5:35
  • 2
    Neither is idiomatic in the US. It might be "affairs" or "details" or "business" but (almost) never "affair" or "stuff". (One might say "my family affair" in the specific case where the thing you're doing is attending a family reunion.)
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 1, 2015 at 14:46
  • 1
    And the most idiomatic (and "professional") would be "personal business" or "family business".
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 1, 2015 at 16:57
  • "A family affair" usually means "An issue which is private within the family, and not anyone else's business". Nov 29, 2017 at 9:37

2 Answers 2


Stuff is very informal. You wouldn't use to to speak to the Queen.

Also, it's an all encompassing term, it could describe a party, a funeral, an intervention, etc. Whereas you probably wouldn't refer to a family funeral as a 'family affair'.

  • "Affair" suggests an event such as dw mentioned. "Stuff might include other things as well--cleaning out the garage; changing the air in the spare tire of the family car; taking the family pet to the dog park, If I were to choose only between "stuff" and "affair", I'd likely choose the latter, but unless restricted in that matter, I really would use either one. If I were asking time off to attend to something about which the party I was asking time off from had no right to no about, I'd say "family business"; otherwise I'd be more specific: daughter's ballet recital, son's soccer game, etc.
    – brasshat
    Jul 11, 2014 at 10:02

For me the difference between them is "stuff" you can do it anytime while "family affair" comes only sometimes or once a while.

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