Answers to Older or Younger? : How to Compare Ages in Chinese

Correct Answer: A

Not everyone likes to directly reveal their age, as in “我九岁了。(Wǒ jiǔ suì le.) I’m nine years old.” or “我四十了。(Wǒ sìshí le.) I’m forty years old.” Some prefer to use another way to express their age indirectly. From the following text, you can learn one way to express your age indirectly in Chinese.

In the Chinese language, if you want to explain that someone is older than another person, you can use the structure below:

Sentence structure: A + 比() + B + 大() + Number + 岁(suì)


Lucy:  Nǐ  érzi  jīn’nián duō dà le?
Lucy:你 儿子 今 年     多   大 了?
Lucy: How old is your son this year?

Liú Xīn: Wǔ suì le.    Nǐ nǚ’ér ne?
刘心:   五   岁 了。 你 女儿  呢?
Liu Xin: Five years old. What about your daughter?

Lucy:  Tā bǐ  nǐ ér’zi dà liǎng suì.
Lucy:她 比 你 儿子 大 两     岁。
Lucy: She is two years older than your son.

Gēɡe bǐ  wǒ dà sān suì.
哥哥   比  我 大  三   岁。
My brother is three years older than me.

Similarly, if you want to express that someone is younger than another person, you can use the following structure:

Sentence structure: A + 比() + B + 小(xiǎo) + Number + 岁(suì)


Wáng Míng bǐ Zhāng Lì xiǎo jiǔ suì.
王       明     比 张       丽 小    九 岁。
Wang Ming is nine years younger than Zhang Li.

Linda:   Nǐ qīzi   duō dà le?
Linda:你  妻子 多    大 了?
Linda: How old is your wife?

Zhào Wěi: Tā bǐ  wǒ xiǎo sān suì.
赵      伟: 她  比 我  小    三    岁。
Zhao Wei: She is three years younger than me.

In our test, Li Hua is three years older than Jim. According to what we have just learned, we should use the phrase “ 大三岁(dà sān suì).” “老三岁(lǎo sān suì)”is not a correct expression. “三岁大(sān suì dà)” means “three years old,” which is not what Li Hua means. The correct answer is A.

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