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Lesson 80: How old are you?

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In order to talk about age, we need to use the counter さい. Please note that さい is only used for talking about the age of living things like animals and humans. You would not, for example, say: あのくるまなんさいですか?.

As with the previous counter words you have learned, さい has several irregularities in how it is read in combination with certain numbers, as shown in the table below.

EnglishJapanese
one year oldいっさい
issai
two years oldさい
nisai
three years oldさんさい
sansai
four years oldよんさい
yonsai
five years oldさい
gosai
six years oldろくさい
rokusai
seven years oldななさい
nanasai
eight years oldはっさい
hassai
nine years oldきゅうさい
kyuusai
ten years oldじゅっさい
zyussai
eleven years oldじゅう いっさい
zyuu issai
twenty years old
hatati
thirty years oldさんじゅっさい
sanzyussai

As you can see, twenty years old is an exception, and after that counting tens continues as expected.

Below are several example sentences relating to age.

EnglishJapanese
How old are you?あなた は なんさい です か?
anata ha nansai desu ka?
I am 40 years old.わたし は よんじゅっさい です。
watasi ha yonzyussai desu.
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