There are several expressions to ask someone's age. That which I am most familiar with is “他几岁?”. However, I am informed that this can only be used for children (I think the problem is the 几, which implies a small number). How can I ask someone's age if they are an adult? Or perhaps asking how old someone was when something happened?

For example:

  • How old is he (e.g. your father) now?
  • How old was she when the accident happened?
  • How old are you? (say, in the hospital, a nurse might ask a patient)
  • search web using e.g. "asking s.o.'s age in Chinese"
    – user6065
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 21:09
  • As a side note, some people may prefer not asking ages directly: They use "你属什么的" to ask for 生肖 and then guess one's age based on it.
    – tsh
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 8:29
  • 看起来好年轻啊,如果对方愿意回答的话,可能会说都已经40了。 Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 1:26

2 Answers 2


There are several ways to ask someone's age and they vary from neutral to very polite. "他几岁" implies that the answer is within 1-9 range, since 几 should not be used for numbers greater than 9.

As for other ways to ask the age question (all of them apply to adults):

  • 你多大? - neutral
  • 您多大年纪? - polite, usually used for eldery people
  • 您贵庚? - very polite and very formal
  • Should I say 你年纪多大 or 你多大年纪?
    – Blaszard
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 7:28
  • I am fairly certain that both are ok.
    – kash
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 15:22
  • Also, it might be politer to add a 今年 when asking.
    – Mou某
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 7:13

The answer up there is good. I just want to add a little bit about how a nurse ask your age. In the hospital or police station or other kinds of bureaux, you are usually asked "您/你的年龄是多少?"or just "多少岁?".

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