When learning Spanish, one of the first things you’ll learn is how to provide and ask for personal information such as a name, age and nationality. Since this basic information can be required in different contexts, many people wonder how to say how old are you in Spanish.
So, in this article, I’ll show you 3 common phrases you can use to ask someone’s age. I’ll include formal and informal variations and examples. By the end of this, you’ll know how to ask ‘how old are you’ in Spanish like a native speaker!
1. ¿Cuántos años tienes? – How old are you?
As you may have already learned, ¿cuántos años tienes? means ‘how old are you’ in Spanish. Therefore, this is one of the most popular questions that you can use to ask people’s age. This question can be used in both formal and informal context as long as you conjugate the verb properly.
Notice we must use the the verb tener to ask or say someone’s age:
¿Cuántos años + [tener conjugated in present] + (person)?
Yo tengo 18, ¿tú cuántos años tienes?
I’m 18 years old, how old are you?
Mamá, ¿cuántos años tiene mi papá?
Mom, how old is dad?
Sr. Ávila, necesito su edad para el papeleo, ¿cuántos años tiene?
Mr. Ávila I need your age for the paperwork, how old are you?
Take Note: When asking someone’s age formally, you need to use ‘usted’ (formal you) and conjugate the verb tener accordingly. Just like in example #3.
Remembering all people’s age can be tricky (at least for me). So if someone told you their age recently and you forgot (or you just didn’t hear), you can use this structure to ask them again:
¿Cuántos años + [indirect object pronoun] + [decir preterite] que + [tener present]?
Martha, ¿cuántos años me dijiste que tienes?
Matha, how old did you tell me you are?
Oigan, ¿cuántos años me dijeron que tenía Laura?
Hey, how old did you guys tell me Laura is?
Additionally, to ask a person’s past age, you should conjugate tener to the Spanish imperfect tense. Here is how you do it:
¿Cuántos años + [tener conjugated imperfect] + cuando + [activity in past tense]?
Linda, ¿cuántos años tenías cuando fuiste a Chile?
Linda, how old were you when you went to Chile?
Chicos, ¿cuántos años tenían cuando aprendieron español?
Guys, how old were you when you learned Spanish?
2. ¿Qué edad tienes? – What is your age?
Another super popular way to ask someone’s age in Spanish is by using ¿qué edad tienes? This question is the direct translation of the question ‘what is your age?’ and you can use it in both formal and informal situations.
A shorter version of this expression is ¿edad? which literally means ‘age?’. However, this variation tends to be more popular in formal situations or when you’re filling out forms or stuff like that.
Just like in the previous section, if you want to customize this expression, you just need to conjugate the verb tener properly.
¿Qué edad + [tener conjugated in present] +(person)?
Señorita, ¿qué edad tiene?
Miss, what is your age?
Lucy, no me acuerdo, ¿qué edad tienes?
Lucy, I don’t remember, what is your age?
Camilla, ¿qué edad tienen tus padres?
Camilla, what is your parent’s age?
Take Note: When it comes to asking someone’s past age in Spanish, you need to use the imperfect tense. This is because age is just providing background information about the circumstances that surrounded an action.
3. ¿Cuál es tu edad? – What is your age?
¿Cuál es tu edad? can also be used to ask people’s age in Spanish. Although it can be used in both formal and casual contexts, this question is more common in formal situations or when you are not very familiar with the person whose age you want to know.
Use the following structure when asking the speaker’s age (only for ‘tú’ and ‘usted’):
¿Cuál es + [possessive adjective] + edad?
Mark, ¿cuál es tu edad?
Mark, what is your age?
Nelly, Jon, ¿cuál es su edad?
Nelly, Jon, what is your age, guys?
If instead, you want to ask someone about another person’s age, you can use the next structure:
¿Cuál es + la edad + de + [person]?
Mandy, ¿cuál es la edad de Gemma?
Mandy, what is Gemma’s age?
Benjamín, ¿cuál es la edad de tus padres?
Benjamin, what are your parents’ ages?
Take Note: ¿Edad? (age?) is also a popular variation for ¿cuál es tu edad? Remember that even if it’s a shorter version, ¿edad? tends to be used in more formal situations.
Asking someone’s age in Spanish is a basic question that you might ask more than once. Even though you may already know one way to ask for this information, there are other popular structures that you can use for the same purpose.
For that reason, in this article, we’ve learned 3 phrases you can use in formal or informal situations.