3 Ways to Ask How Old Are You in Spanish

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One of the first questions you’ll be asked or you may want to ask when learning Spanish is “How old are you?” It is a basic thing you’ll want to know how to say when you’re just getting to know someone.

When it comes to asking how old are you in Spanish, there are a few expressions you can use. While you may really only use ¿Cuántos años tienes? you will need to know the other common expressions so you can recognize it if someone uses some of the other phrases with you!

Read on to learn all the ways to say “How old are you” in Spanish as well as the best way to respond so you can sound like a true native Spanish speaker.

All the Ways to Say “How old are you” in Spanish

how old are you in spanish

The first important thing to note when speaking about age in Spanish, is that Spanish uses the verb “to have” when indicating age as opposed to English, which uses “to be”.

For example

In English, you would say – “I am 29 years old”.
In Spanish, you’d say Yo tengo 29 años, which means – “I have 29 years”

¿Cuántos años tienes?

¿Cuántos años tienes? literally means “How many years do you have?”. It is the most common way to ask someone’s age in Spanish. Note that this phrase uses the informal form of addressing the second person, tu .

If you are speaking to someone with whom you have more formal relationship, you can use the second-person singular form usted. In that case, the question would be altered to ¿Cuántos años tiene usted?

Read next: Tú vs Usted: What’s the Difference Between Tú and Usted?

¿Qué edad tienes?

The literal translation of ¿Qué edad tienes? is “What age do you have?” To an English speaker, this direct translation might sound a bit awkward, but rest assured, it is a very normal expression in Spanish!

In contrast to English, where age is something you “are”, in Spanish age is something you possess. That’s why we use the verb “to have” to talk about age, instead of “to be”. But there are some exceptions, as we will see in the following section.

¿Cuál es tu edad?

¿Cuál es tu edad? means “What is your age?” This is the only case in which we use the verb “to be” to talk about age.

Asking ¿cuál es tu edad? is similar to asking ¿qué edad tienes? But you will likely not hear ¿cuál es tu edad? as often as the first two options.

Like before, if we want to be more formal, we can use the formal pronoun usted. In that case, the question is ¿cuál es su edad?

Respond to How old are you in Spanish

As with most questions, there is a long and short answer for “How old are you?” in Spanish. We can say Tengo 18 años (“I am 18 years old”) or simply 18 años (“18 years old”). There are also other very common ways to respond, that can add a little flair to your response and sound more conversational. Here are a few options.


  1. Tengo 25, pero voy a cumplir 26
  2. Voy a cumplir 26 en un mes
  3. Tengo casi 26
  4. Tengo 18 para 19


  1. I’m 25, but I’m going to turn 26
  2. I’m going to turn 26 in a month
  3. I’m almost 26
  4. I’m 18 going on 19

Spanish speakers often use only the number to answer about their age, so it’s normal hear conversation such as:


Q: ¿Ya tienes licencia de conducir? ¿Cuántos años tienes?

A: ¡18!


Q: You already have a driver’s license? How old are you?

A: 18!

Age-related vocabulary

To finish becoming an expert in asking and telling age, let’s take a look at some related terms:

Edad Age
Cumpleaños Birthday
Cumplir años to turn years old
Mes Month
Año Year

Final thoughts

To recap, the most important thing to remember is that in Spanish we use a different verb to talk about age. We don’t use the verb “to be”, but the verb “to have”: tener. This is both to ask someone’s age and to answer the question.

If we keep this in mind, and we know how to formulate questions properly (using the interrogative pronoun at the beginning and the verb at the end), we can ask questions like a native speaker.

You’re now ready to go out and start asking people their age in Spanish!

¡Hasta la próxima!

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