It seems astonishing, yes. But in reality, I just saw a celebration of her 3ninth birthday the various other day. Not that I’m counting, however I think it was the sixth year in a row that she commemorated turning 39.
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What’s her secret? Has she found the fountain of youth?
Maybe there’s no need to overthink it. After all, age is ssuggest a attitude.
Sure, the principle of age seems basic and also straightforward to most of us. But in French, it can be pretty facility. Both socially and grammatically, discussing age in French deserve to acquire fairly tricky.
That’s why we’re offering you this handy overview to navigate talking about age in French.
Download: This blog write-up is accessible as a convenient and portable PDF that youhave the right to take all over. Click below to obtain a copy. (Download)Talking About Era in French: Basic Rules to Master a Tricky Topic
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How to Ask About Period in French
Before we get to the down-and-dirty of exactly how to expush age in French, it’s worth asking the question: Should you ask at all?
As we understand, many kind of civilization are sensitive around the topic of age, and French human being are no exception to this.
You might want to stop asking someone their age unless you know them exceptionally well. It’s thought about particularly rude to ask this question of a woguy if you’re a guy. However before, if you have a comfortable connection via someone and also the subject comes up, at least make certain you’re asking the best method.
Tright here are two major rules to keep in mind once asking around age in French:
Use avoir (to have) to talk about age
The many necessary thing to remember is that the French use the verb avoir to express age.
As you most likely remember, avoir is the French verb “to have actually.”
This implies that as soon as you ask someone’s age, you’re literally asking, “What age execute you have?”
This have the right to be difficult to remember for English speakers, who usage the verb “to be” once expressing age. (“How oldare you?”)
The initially action to getting this right is memorizing the irconstant conjugations of avoir:
J’ai —I have
Tu as —You have actually (singular and also informal “you”)
Elle/il/on a — She/He/One has
Nous avons — We have
Vous avez —You have actually (plural or formal “you”)
Elles ont — They have actually (for an all-female group)
Ils ont —They have actually (for an all-male or a mixed-sex group)
Now that you have actually your verb, let’s look at how to put it right into question form.
Use inversion to ask “How old are you?” in French
Another vital grammatical allude to remember is that the French language often provides inversion to ask concerns. This means that the sentence is inverted so that the verb is prior to the topic.
So if you want to ask someone’s age, you’d phrase the question like this:
Quel âge as-tu? — How old are you? (Using the informal tu form)
Quel âge avez-vous? — How old are you? (Using the formal vous form)
Notice just how the verb (in this case, as or avez) comes prior to the subject tu or vous.
If you’re asking around someone else’s age in the 3rd perkid, the very same rules use, with one distinct caveat. You have to insert a “t” in in between the develop of avoir and also the topic pronoun.
Why? Due to the fact that in French, words have to flow effortlessly together. It’d just be awkward to pause in between the 2 vowel sounds.
The correct method to phrase a question like this is:
Quel âge a-t-elle? —How old is she?
Quel âge a-t-il? —How old is he?
If you’re asking around a group, a question in the 3rd perkid would certainly look favor this:
Quel âge ont-ils? —How old are they? (for an all-male or mixed group)
Quel âge ont-elles? —How old are they? (for an all-female group)
And finally, you deserve to ask about age in the initially person. These questions aren’t commonly heard, however they’re still good to know:
Quel âge ai-je? —How old am I?
Quel âge avons-nous? —How old are we?
However before, the French are by no implies rigid as soon as it comes to sentence framework. In casual conversation, you’ll often hear inquiries phrased choose sentences, with the topic first. For instance, you could hear a French speaker say, “Tu as quel âge?” or“Vous avez quel âge?”
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How to Expush Period in a Sentence
Now that you understand how to ask someone’s age, right here are a couple of pointers on just how to tell someone your age, or someone else’s.
Once again, keep in mind that the French use develops of avoir (to have) whenever before they’re expushing age.
Let’s say that you desire to tell someone you’re 29 years old (as you might be for several more years).
Literally, the construction of the sentence translates as, “I have 29 years.” So, in French, you’d say:
J’ai vingt-neuf ans. — I’m 29 years old.
(Check out this short article if you need a refresher on French numbers.)
To talk about anyone else’s age, usage the same building and construction, simply substitute the correct pronoun and also conjugation of avoir. For example:
Il a vingt-neuf ans. — He’s 29 years old.
Elles ont vingt-neuf ans. — They (female) are 29 years old.
This brings us to an additional rule…
Always use the word ans (years) to express age in French
It’s extremely crucial never before to leave off the word ans (years). While in English it’s perfectly acceptable to drop the enhancement of “years old” and just say “I’m 29,” this sindicate doesn’t work grammatically in French.
Without the word ans, you’re simply saying “I have actually 29.” But, 29 what? Pets? Social media followers? Pairs of shoes?
By including ans, you make it clear that you’re talking around age.
Careful, though: Don’t gain ans blended up via the various other word for “years,” années.
This word for years is commonly provided to referral a certain period of time (as in les années quatre-vingt — the 1980s, my favorite decade). It isn’t supplied for age.
Talking About Period in the Past
Perhaps you’re not one of those lucky world that acquire to reprimary permanently immortalized at their favorite age. (39 seems as excellent an age as any for this.)
In this case, you may want to mention what age youwere when something occurred.
Since this falls under the category of description, you must use the imperfect create of avoir to express an era from the past. Simply start with your imperfect stem, av-, and go ahead and include the correct imperfect finishing. To include even more detail, add a clausage start through the word quand (when).
J’avais douze ans quand… — Iwas twelve years old when…
Mon frèreavait cinq ans quand… — My brotherwas five years old when…
Other Useful Words for Talking About Age
Of course, tright here are many type of various other words and phrases that have the right to be supplied to explain age besides numbers. Here are a few:
The word jeune(young) can be supplied to describe a perboy if you don’t know their specific age in years.
Helptotally, adjectives which describe age constantly go before the noun they explain, just like in English.
une jeune fille — a young girl
Remember that if you’re talking about a plural noun, you must usage the plural develop of the adjective as well:
les jeunes filles — the young girls
Keep in mind that via adjectives, unprefer with eras, we use the verb être (to be)fairly than avoir (to have), simply favor in English:
Nous sommes jeunes. — We are young.
The French word for “old” can be a little bit trickier to usage.
You need to usage the masculine vieux to explain a male, and the feminine vieille to define a woman. However before, through masculine nouns that begin with a vowel sound, like homme (man), you’ll have to adjust vieux to vieil.
une vieille dame —an old woman
un vieil homme — an old man
un vieux monsieur — an old man
Another tricky rule: in the plural create, vieux doesn’t adjust at all:
les vieilles dames —the old women
les vieux hommes —the old men
D’age moyen (middle-aged)
What around someone who’s neither old nor young?
The French don’t have an exact translation for the word “middle-aged.” However before, you have the right to include the phrase d’âge moyen (of medium age) if you want to convey the exact same idea.
un homme d’âge moyen — a middle-aged man
Plus âgé (older) and also moins âgé (younger)
These two phrases are handy for making comparisons about age.
They use the adjective âgé (aged), plus the comparative words plus (more) or moins (less.) Remember that as through all adjectives, âgé hregarding change to accord through its noun.
Here are some examples:
Je suis plus âgée que ma soeur. —I’m older than my sister. (If the speaker is a woman)
Elle est la moins âgée de la classe. —She’s the youngest in the course.
We can’t talk around age without talking about birthdays!
The French word for “birthday” is anniversaire. It’s true, this really is the word for “anniversary,” yet it makes feeling. After all, a birthday is nothing more than the anniversary of the day you were born.
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(In instance you’re wondering, a wedding anniversary is called “un anniversaire de mariage.”)
So to tell someone as soon as your birthday is, you’d sindicate say, “Mon anniversaire est le…” and end with the day. (Remember to express the date via the number initially, then the month.)
For example, let’s say your birthday is July 14. You would certainly say: “Mon anniversaire est le quatorze juillet.”
Whether you’re approaching the question of aging via fearless honesty or you intend to remajor 39 years old forever before, these little bit vocabulary tips should gain you well on your means to having a coherent conversation about age in French.
Download: This blog article is accessible as a convenient and portable PDF that youdeserve to take almost everywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)