14 Ways To Ask How Old Are You In Spanish

  • Jada Lòpez
    Written byJada Lòpez
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14 Ways To Ask How Old Are You In Spanish

How do you ask how old are you in Spanish?

There are, in fact, various ways to ask this question.

I’ll show you how to ask this in both the present and past tenses, informally and formally.

At the end, I’ll go over the simplest way to respond and tell a person how old you are when they ask you.

How to ask how old are you in Spanish (present tense)

1. ¿Cuántos años tienes?

The first option for asking “how old are you” in Spanish is ¿cuántos años tienes?¿Cuántos años tienes?” translates to “how many years have you got?” in English.

Although this is the literal meaning, Spanish speakers use this phrase to ask, “how old are you?”

You can change the verb tienes to conjugate the sentence differently.

By this, I mean you can ask people how old they are by conjugating the verb.

Continue reading to find out the different conjugations given as examples below.

2. ¿Cuántos años tiene usted?

This next option is a variation of ¿cuántos años tienes?

It’s used when you want to ask someone their age but don’t know the person. For example, a doctor may ask you ¿cuántos años tiene usted?

And because it’s a formal situation, they will use the word usted.

Note how this is different from our first example.

In the first option, we use the verb tener conjugated in the second person present tense form to ask how old someone is in Spanish. In this example, you must use the usted version to ask someone’s age.

Usted is a verb form that Spanish speakers use to show respect when speaking with people they don’t know.

In other words, use usted and the third person form of tener in formal situations.

Remember that we use tener and not the verbs ser or estar when asking someone their age with this phrase.

3. ¿Cuál es tu edad?

“¿Cuál es tu edad?” is a phrase and interrogative sentence that translates to English as “What is your age?”

In this example, edad means “age”.

You can modify the pronoun tu in this interrogative phrase to ask others how old they are.

4. ¿Cuál es su edad?

The phrase ”¿Cuál es su edad?” is one example you can use when asking someone their age.

Note how this phrase is different from the third example on the list.

Instead of the personal pronoun tu, we use the personal pronoun su.

But how does this affect the meaning of the question?

Asking ”¿Cuál es su edad?” is a formal option.

In other words, it’s possible to use it to ask someone’s age in formal situations. If you don’t know the person, it’s best not to use tu.

Instead, use su to show respect.

5. ¿Qué edad tienes?

You can also ask ¿qué edad tienes? which is another variation that combines a few interrogatives on this list.

¿Qué edad tienes? means “what age do you have?” in English. This sentence is informal, as you can tell from the verb tienes, written in the second person informal tu form.

Again, you can modify this to ask different people how old they are.

6. ¿Qué edad tiene?

¿Qué edad tiene? can mean “how old are you?” or “how old is he or she?”

Use it to ask someone how old they are in Spanish.

To clarify the distinction, you can say ¿Qué edad tiene usted? which is a more precise way to say, “what age do you have?”

How to ask how old someone was (past tense)

You may want to learn someone’s age in many other situations.

For example, you may want to ask them how old they were when they bought a house, and you’ll need to ask a question in the past tense.

So, let’s look at how to ask how old someone is in the past tense.

1. ¿Cuántos años tenías?

The first example of how to ask someone their age in the past tense is ¿cuántos años tenías?.

¿Cuántos años tenías? is an interrogative that means “how old were you?”

It has many uses.

For example, if you’re asking someone how old they were in a picture, you may ask ¿Y cuántos años tenías en esta foto?

Use tenías when asking a family member or friend this question, as it’s an informal register.

2. ¿Cuántos años tenía usted?

Need to ask someone how old they were in a formal situation?

Simply ask ¿Cuántos años tenía usted? which means, “How old were you?”

Again, there are many situations where you might ask this question.

For example, if you’re asking your boss how old they were when they started the business, you could ask ¿cuántos años tenía usted cuando empezaste esta empresa?

3. ¿Cuál era tu edad?

You can also ask ¿Cuál era tu edad? if you want to ask someone how old they were in a particular situation.

Use the interrogative ¿Cuál era tu edad? in informal situations.

For instance, if you want to ask a friend how old they were when they had their first child, you can ask ¿Cuál era tu edad cuando nació tu hija?

4. ¿Cuál era su edad?

¿Cuál era su edad? is a variation of ¿Cuál era tu edad? that you can use when asking people how old they were in a particular situation in the past.

For example, if you want to ask a business owner how old they were when they sold their first product, you may ask ¿Cuál era su edad cuando vendió su primer producto?

If you know the business owner like a friend, use ¿Cuál era tu edad? which uses the possessive pronoun tu instead.

5. ¿Qué edad tenías?

Use ¿Qué edad tenías? when you want to ask how old someone was in the past.

Tenías is a past tense verb that means “did you have.”

This phrase is the past tense version of ¿qué edad tiene? and is used in informal situations.

How can you tell this sentence is for informal scenarios?

The verb tener has been conjugated in the second person tu form, which is appropriate for friends and family members, as opposed to

6. ¿Qué edad tenía?

Here’s another version of the phrase ¿qué edad tenías?

Use ¿qué edad tenías? if you want to ask how old “he” or “she” used to be, or how old a person used to be (where the subject of the sentence is the formal “you”).

For example, if you wanted to ask someone you don’t know how old they used to be, ask ¿qué edad tenía usted?

7. ¿Cuándo naciste?

If you want to be slightly more discreet when asking how old someone is in Spanish, you can ask them when they were born.

To ask them this question, simply say ¿cuándo naciste?

Remember that ¿cuando naciste? uses the past tense verb naciste, conjugated in the second person.

This conjugation means the subject of your interrogative phrase is the formal “you.”

If you want to ask when someone else was born (like he or she), use nació, as you’ll see in the following example.

8. ¿Cuándo nació?

¿Cuándo nació? is an interrogative that means “when was he born?” or “when was she born?” but it can also mean “when were you born?” if you use the word usted.

If you want to ask “How old are you” in Spanish, ask someone you don’t know ¿cuándo nació usted?

How to respond when someone asks how old you are in Spanish

But what if someone asks you how old you are? How should you respond?

It will depend on their question, but the simplest way to tell someone your age in Spanish is with the phrase: tengo … años.

If they ask you ¿cuándo naciste?, your response will be different.

You should say nací en … (where you can state the year you were born).

And if they ask you, ¿qué edad tenías? always respond using the past tense sentence tenía … años.

Ask people how old they are in Spanish to get the most practice

You’ve now got a solid list of ways to ask people how old they are in Spanish.

Practice and use the phrases above.

Remember to use the formal ones for formal situations and the informal examples for when you’re speaking with friends and family.

And don’t forget to remember these phrases just in case someone wants to ask you how old you are.

In cases like that you can simply respond tengo … años.


Are there any ways to ask “how old are you” in Spanish that I’ve missed?

Write them to the comments section.

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Donovan Nagel
Donovan Nagel - B. Th, MA AppLing
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
Currently learning: Greek
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