"Quantos anos você tem?"

Translation:How old are you?

April 5, 2013

This discussion is locked.


What if I translate it as "how many years do you have"? As if asking someone with...cancer, or incurable illness?

May 7, 2013


then you would get it wrong, like i did. haha

December 7, 2013


I did How many years do you have? too xD

May 25, 2016


Hmm... then we'd say:" há quanto tempo você...?" (For how long have you...?)

May 7, 2013


Can you say, "Desde quanto tempo"

April 26, 2016


It is more common to use "Desde quando...?"

April 26, 2016


I know this was from a long time ago, but the original poster mean "how many years do you have LEFT." In English we never ask someone "how many years do you have" in terms of the past. It's always "how long have you..." Saying "how many years/days/months do you have" implies we're asking how many more years they're going to do something (school, jail time, until they die of a disease...). There's the "left" there that we drop. That question refers to the future, never the past.

January 4, 2017


Or if someone is in jail. How would you ask then?

January 1, 2014


"Há quanto tempo você está aqui?" / "quanto tempo você ficou preso?" (Possible questions).

January 1, 2014


In this case you should say in Portuguese: "quantos anos lhe restam?" (how many years do you have left?)

October 28, 2015


I have a question for the native portuguese speakers/community. Because I speak Spanish, I would say "Quantos anos tem você?" However in portuguese, is it more natural to say '...você tem?', instead of '...tem você?"?

April 5, 2013


Yep, its more natural to say "você tem". In portuguese its not so common to change subject+pronoun in questions, but we just change the intonation...

April 5, 2013


How does that inotation change?

March 7, 2015


At the end of the sentence, make it sound like you are asking, just like in English.

July 30, 2015


Hi Paulo, sub-question: is this phrasing -- quando anos você tem? -- the natural way Brazilians ask about age, the way "How old are you?" is the natural American way?

September 15, 2017


Yes! "Quantos anos você tem?" is the most usual way. Also, you should use the verb "ter" (to have) to talk about ages.

September 15, 2017


Well, i dont know, in my city we usually say "tem você" no você tem.. Each region speaks in a single way, but both are correct! You wont sound like someone from another country talking like this, its pretty commom!

February 6, 2016


Hello makemelaf. The Paulo is right. It's more natural to say: "...você tem?". I think that is the correct.

February 19, 2015


What if you just accepted as a fact that idiomatic language isn't the same as word-for word translation? I'd rather learn the idiomatic language than spend time in arguing. Happy learning!

February 1, 2015


that is true. but sometimes knowing the literal translation can help to know how a language works.

May 31, 2015


because you see the words and you know what they mean but the final answer is totally different... its a logical disconnect

October 29, 2016


I guess the literal translation is no good :(

March 4, 2014


Because asking how many years you have might be confusing in English. "Have left on this Earth?" Might be my response if you ask that to me in English (and don't have a strong foreign accent. If you ask that in Portuguese, it's understood as asking your age. Our default questions for age don't ask how many years you have but what age you are, so even the verb is different.

May 26, 2016


Is this how actual Portuguese people ask the question

May 10, 2015


No. Portuguese people would probably use "Tu" instead of "Você".

July 11, 2015


If I'm not mistaken, it'll probably be something like this in European Portuguese ..... "Quantos anos tu tens?"

January 27, 2016


We native English speakers have to say this three times in our head to understand what it means lol. "how many years do you have?" we're like you mean "how old are you?"

December 8, 2015


how many years do you have ...is a valid translation, no?

January 5, 2016


Not really. While it is a literal translation, it will probably draw the question "for what?" for native English speakers. They are asking for a person's age which is a property (like height, as in "what is your height?") in English while in Portuguese (and other languages) you are asking how many years in a person's life they currently have. So if you don't want to cause confusion you ask for the person's age, i.e. " How old are you?" in English, and how many years a person has in languages where that is appropriate, i.e. "Quantos anos você tem?" in Portuguese. This is one of many cases where a literal translation would probably cause more confusion rather than just saying what the person means.

January 6, 2016


"How many years do you have?" should also be correct

December 31, 2013


This is more about usage than grammar. In English, age is something that you are, while in Portuguese and in Spanish, age is something you have. Think of the years as something you carry around with you. "How many years do you have?" is correct grammatically but is improper usage. You may hear it in poetry but not in spoken language.

In English, it is correct, though not necessarily polite, to ask "How old are you." In Spanish, it would be incorrect and very rude to ask, "¿Cuán viejo eres?"

May 24, 2014


Grato Coayuco, aqui no Brasil falamos: "Quantos anos você tem ?". A frase "Quão velho você é ?" é estranha, e não falamos desta forma.

Ow: "Grato" = thanks, seria uma abreviação de "obrigado" - https://pt.wiktionary.org/wiki/grato

June 19, 2015


That's what Coayuco was saying. It's about common usage. In English it would be strange (and may be confusing) to hear "how many years do you have?" How many years do I have for what? But "how old are you?" is immediately understood here. It's reverse in Spanish and Portuguese. Which is why a literal translation probably would be incorrect to use for this.

June 19, 2015


I do not agree. It is like if you translate "How old are you?" into Spanish like "¿Cómo de viejo eres tú? That's a word by word translation for something that has already a very well-known meaning.

March 25, 2014


But "Como de viejo eres tu" in Spanish would, I think, be grammatically incorrect. "How many years do you have" is not grammatically incorrect in English; it just isn't standard. Something can be non-standard and still be correct.

March 26, 2014


The Spanish sentence is grammatically correct, but a native speaker is not going to use it, ever. On the other side, a native speaker may use "How many years do you have" in other context, but not to ask someone his/her age. Besides, if you could ask that way, this would mean that you could answer "I have 21 years". And that answer referring to age is incorrect English.

March 26, 2014


They shouldn't accept it, but there is a case where using "have" for age can be correct in English (even though context has to be established first, so I'd still count it wrong as an out of context sentence). It's kind of poetic, but I've actually heard people say this out loud to each other: "How many years do you have upon this Earth?" "I have 21. How many years do you have?" "35"... Now, in this scenario, one person was an actor (as a profession, we weren't at a play at the time or anything) and we were playing a live-action game where we were all vampires, werewolves, or whatever the game called for. Either way, they did say this to each other in that context and understood each other without missing a beat.

That being said, if given no context, it should be counted wrong if the answer to this exercise is "How many years do you have?" when asking for age, because if you ask that to a random person on the street, they wouldn't know what you were talking about for the most part. If you added the "on this Earth" or something similar, they might, but most people would confuse it with "how many years do you have left on this Earth" even if you did that. It's not the norm and would take effort to clarify what you were talking about rather than just saying "how old are you?" (which unless you are a kid or new to English, needs no explination), therefore, in the context of this site, your answer should be marked incorrect.

April 6, 2014


An interesting take... though you share a valid use of the phrase, you say that without further context, a poetical answer should get marked wrong. My contention is the reverse: unless there is good reason for marking an answer wrong, the lack of context should give the learner the benefit of the doubt, as Duo does in other exercises.

November 7, 2015


I didn't mean that poetically should be counted wrong, except in a situation of no context. It was the fact that there's no context with the sentence that makes it no default. If someone on the street gets asks "how many years do you have?" poetically or not, they will be confused unless they are prepped mentally (I suppose asking in a certain way might give away the meaning, but in text you have no real chance of dramatic delivery and only the words). Go. Ask someone with no preparation. Do they give their age? Now ask how old they are? In Brazil, if you ask how many years someone has, they know. They give their age much like asking for age is done here which is why I would count it incorrect. If people have to ask for more to clarify, then maybe something is off in the translation or requires more than the literal translation. Sure duo might count the literal correct, but I'm serious. Ask a random person that on the street and see if they realize what you're saying with no explanation. Ask the same number of people how old they are and report your findings. I tried it once and found only confused people when asking how many years they had. Maybe because they spoke no other language. Not sure. Asking age got understanding (granted random people won't aways just give their age, but they appeared to understand what I was asking when they didn't).

January 6, 2016


not when you asking how old someone is, sounds more like 'how many years do you have left?' If they are terminally ill or something.

January 25, 2015


Eu 10 anos. :)

May 25, 2016


*Eu tenho dez anos.

If you're 10 years old. You would say that you have 10 years in Portuguese.

May 26, 2016


Oh my... if only I had used the sentence, which first came in my thoughts: "How old are you"... But I had doubts about :-D Now I see it would have been right! :-)

October 8, 2016
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