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"How old are you?"

Translation:おいくつですか?

June 8, 2017

54 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sora_Japan

I had studied 'How old are you?' means 'nan sai desu ka?' .

I think 'お いくつ です か' is a little polite than 'なん さい です か'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Makishi3

I learn it by Nan sai〜 too but the other way look more polite due the お in the beginning. I think...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshyBoy882

What about 'お さいは 何 です か?' Similar to when asking someone's name 'お 名前 は 何 です か?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aki-kun

歳/才(さい)is used as a counter for age and not really used that way alone. "Age" alone would be 年齢(ねんれい). Though I'm not sure, if it can be used like お名前 in this case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rk5I3

You can ask としはいくつですか. You write thisとし with 歳. That kanji is readとし when it's alone andさい when it's got company, like 何歳(なんさい), where it is a counter for age years. So don't try to use it alone or you may be misunderstood. さい by itself (with different kanji) means also a rhino or dice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_IX

I think not. It's usually "何さいですか". I've never heard anyone use "おさい".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AstroVulpes

From what I have seen, 「おいくつですか。」 is used exclusively when conversing with small children (full stops are more formal than question marks in Japanese). According to the Japanese Stack Exchange, 「お歳をお聞きしてもいいですか。」 is the most appropriate way to ask a stranger their age, but females merit more caution because it is considered impolite to ask them their age. Check this link for more information: https://japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/2749/polite-way-to-ask-how-old-are-you-%E4%BD%95%E6%AD%B3-%E3%81%84%E3%81%8F%E3%81%A4-%E5%B9%B4%E9%BD%A2-%E3%81%94%E5%B9%B4


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joe264823

I also have Nan Sai desu ka in my textbooks.

I have different textbooks, I think most use Nan Sai desu ka


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PolyGoat8

@sora_Japan -I think you mean more polite, right? Americans can make mistakes when typing and forget to say "more" or "less" and we don't know which one it is... is it less or more polite than saying 「何歳ですか」?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnastasisH2

maybe it implies "how many [years] are you?". It is a common expression in Greek, maybe its the same for Japanese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sarah.e.wh

Ok, I just asked my Japanese husband about this! Here is his answer. いくつ is more general, directly meaning "how many?" It is also more childish. The equivalent in English is when a very young child holds up 3 fingers and says, "I'm this many!" 何さいですか is specifically asking about age while いくつ can be asking about the quantity of anything. Also, if you ask an adult, [いくつですか] they are going to look at you a little weird for using baby talk at them. 何さいですか is acceptable for all ages and is neutral on the politeness scale. おいくつですか is acceptable for adults and therefore polite, but you have to use the お。 TLDR: 何さいですか is a safer bet but おいくつですか is acceptable too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ratzin

Excuse me, in this case, whats is the exact meaning of いつく


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RamenDutchman

"How many things"

As in: 一つあります。 means "There's one thing."

いくつありますか。 asks "How many things are there?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TannerWill1

What about nan sai desu ka?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sora_Japan

なん さい です か is same お いくつ です か


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theus1816

What does the お mean here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris651248

Yes it's an honorific prefix. Many nouns can be made more polite this way


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrtenHolmq

Making it more polite I think


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnPMChappell

幾つですか。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PolyGoat8

thanks for the kanji ^_^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlosVEEGM

I wrote "o Ikutsu desu" and Duo said it was correct. Is the "ka" particle not necessary in order to ask a question?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RamenDutchman

Grammatically it's necessary, and I think DuoLingo shouldn't have accepted it.

But like it's said before: You can imply a question by the tone of your voice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lisjump

Similar to the way you can imply a question in English by the tone of your voice


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zanne171883

I learned this phrase as 'nan sai desu ka?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/prudencehp

yes, that's a better way to say it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RodrigoCel606183

What does いくつ means? Is it really " how old"? And what is the function of that お?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LordOfTheAndain

いくつ means "how many", that it refers to years is implied by context. お is a politeness marker, which shows that you are asking about the person you are talking with.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweet-gabriel

I had a Japanese teacher who mentioned that being too formal can sometimes make you sound condescending or closed off in some situations. So I'm assuming this phrase would best be used with someone who is your superior by a LOT, and not people who are on the same level as you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mrvolans

"How many are you?" I like japanese


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LilietB

in russian it would sound like '[to you] [how many]' in the most casual form (and '[how many] [to you] years' in the polite form) literal 'how old are you' would sound incredibly rude like... you're either calling someone old or questioning whether they're an adult and just... bad form


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mohammeddi12

And how i answer this ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/binupm

I think it should be ok to answer: "age" sai desu. I could be wrong, if someone could confirm that would be great.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sakata_Kintoki

Yes, it's the same as answering 何歳ですか. So something like 32歳です.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/toffee1141

I forgot to add the か. How come it was still right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LilietB

intonation is king and you CAN ask a question using a statement form in English too it would be marked incorrect for an English learner tho so idk


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tatakai_

Lol I chose いくつ in the options randomly because I didn't remember the answer and just wanted to see what it was, and got it right. I should try the lottery.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RheaSamantha

Are "ikutsu" and "ikura" related words?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sofia940118

Literally all i put was いくつ .... I dont know whats what anymore


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Orion-the-Red

I've heard in anime the rude children ask this, but adding more words makes it more polite.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sarathewise

です and か are both used for formal speech, but don't need to be used in informal speech. Not only that, but you can imply a question via tone of voice. Its possible that Duolingo interpreted your answer as いくつ? and accepted it as correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NysaClark1

I always hear "des" and "des ka." Are those honorifics?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FranciscoCG_

Desu is like the verb to be and ka is used at the end to make a normal sentence a question sentence. They can be omitted in casual conversations, i guess.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UFOjk0qk

何歳ですか


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DattAdhyan

How to write old in Japanese


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsaacRevel

Is it necessary ot put the question mark at the end of a sentence that already has the か particle?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sakata_Kintoki

No, it's not necessary.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kadiri719955

What does いくつ means?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LilietB

'how many' i think


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Persona180

can someone explain the sentence order of this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Starman58542

In college textbooks "nan sai desuka" is exclusively used


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EricPooley

Is the actually necessary, besides making it less rude?

Edited since I have since come to understand the answer:

The お makes "How much of you" or "how old are you?" as opposed to a more general "How much is there?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sirIesdor

what's wrong with 何際ですか?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yokinei_Zenko

When can you use お前 rather than あなた?

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