How to Say Your Age in Spanish

Instructor: Janet Long

Janet has taught college Spanish and English courses and has master's degrees in Spanish literature and TESOL.

If you're working or studying in a Spanish speaking country, you'll meet friends and colleagues who may ask questions to learn more about you, like how old you are. This lesson will help you learn how to ask and answer questions about age in Spanish.

How Old Are You?

When you want to know somebody's age in English, you ask , ''How old are you?''. You expect the person to answer by saying ''I'm _____ years old.'' In Spanish, you won't use a form of ser (to be) or estar (to be) to say age. Instead, you use tener (to have) and años (years). This lesson will show you how to use tener años (to have years) with the numbers from 1-99 to ask and answer questions about age in Spanish.

Asking about Age

To ask a person's age in Spanish, you'll use the phrase Cuántos años (How many years) plus a form of the verb tener (to have). This translates exactly as ''How many years do/does _____ have?'', but the closest meaning in English is ''How old are you?'' To start, let's take a look at the different forms of tener:

Form of Tener Meaning
Yo tengo I have
Tú tienes You have (singular informal, familiar)
Él / Ella / Usted tiene He / She / You (singular formal) have
Nosotros tenemos We have
Vosotros tenéis You have (plural informal)
Ellos / Ellas / Ustedes tienen They (male or mixed gender) / They (female)/ You (plural formal) have

As mentioned before, to ask a person's age, you can use the question ¿Cuántos años (form of tener)? You choose the correct form of tener from the chart above, depending on the person you are asking about. So, if you are talking to a child and want to ask her age, you would say, ¿Cuántos años tienes? (How old are you?) for the informal you form. You don't need to add the subject pronoun in Spanish, but if you want to add it to the question, you'll add it after the form of tener. With the pronoun, you'd ask the child, ¿Cuántos años tienes tú? (How old are you?)

If you want to ask the age of a different person, not the person that you are talking to, you say the name of the person whose age you want to know after tener. For example, If you want to ask the child how old his sister is, you'd say, ¿Cuántos años tiene tu hermana? (How old is your sister?)

Telling your age

When responding to the question or just talking about age in Spanish, you begin your sentence with a form of tener, then put the correct number and end by saying the word años. For example, if the child is 5 years old, he would answer your question by saying, Tengo cinco años.

You can also say the age of another person, as in the answer to the question, ¿Cuántos años tiene tu hermana? If the child's sister is 10 years old, he would answer your question by saying, Mi hermana tiene diez años.

Numbers

The final thing that you need to know to to give age in Spanish are the numbers for the age. This section will review the numbers from 1-99. Let's start by looking at the vocabulary and pronunciation for the numbers 1-19:

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