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Tener [número] años = To be [number] years old

In Spanish, we use the verb tener (to have) to talk about age. To say I am [number] years old, we use tengo [number of years] + años. 

Read and listen to these sentences:

Tengo 30 años.
I am 30 years old. [lit: I have 30 years]

Yo tengo veintiséis años.
I am twenty-six years old.

Tengo 57 años ¿Y tú?
I am 57 years old, and you?

To ask how old someone is, you can use either the informal form (tienes), or the formal usted form (tiene). You're literally asking How many years do you have?

¿Cuántos años tienes?
How old are you?

¿Cuántos años tiene usted?
How old are you? [formal]

Unlike English, note that:
1. you cannot omit años in this expression.
2. we never use the verbs ser or estar (to be) to talk about age.
GRAMMAR: Yo tengo is the first person form (I) of the verb tener (to have) in El Presente.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

¿Cuántos años tienes?
How old are you?


¿Cuántos años tiene usted?
How old are you? [formal]


Tengo 30 años.
I am 30 years old. [lit: I have 30 years]


Yo tengo veintiséis años.
I am twenty-six years old.


Tengo 57 años ¿Y tú?
I am 57 years old, and you?


Micro kwiz: Tener [número] años = To be [number] years old
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Q&A

Richard

Kwiziq community member

15 November 2017

1 reply

Why is only 'Tengo' accepted as a quiz reply? 'Yo tengo' was marked incorrect.

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

16 November 2017

16/11/17

Hola Richard,
Could you tell us which specific question you are referring to?
There should be an alternative correct answer "Yo tengo" on nearly all of them. If you tell us which one I can double check.

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