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Answers to the Exercises on The Right Way to Ask Someone’s Age in Mandarin

Dec. 8, 2014

Answer: B

One thing that we certainly cannot control as time goes by is the fact that our age will never stop increasing. Year by year, the number gets higher. generally, we translate the word “year” as “年(nián).” It is used in phrases such as “一年(yìnián) one year,” “五年(wǔ nián) five years,” “今年(jīnnián) this year,” “明年(míngnián) next year,” and so on.

Examples

Wǒ lái Běijīng sānnián le.
我  来  北京     三年     了。
I have been in Beijing for three years.

Wáng Lì: Nǐ shénme shíhou jiéhūn?
王       丽: 你   什么          时候     结婚?
Wang Li: When will you get married?

Cindy:  Míngnián.
Cindy:明年。
Cindy: Next year.

However, despite the fact that our age is closely related to the word “年(nián) year,” in the Chinese language, we do not use the word “年(nián,) year” itself to express age. The word we usually use is “岁(suì),” as in “三岁(sānsuì) three years old,” “二十岁(èrshí suì) twenty years old,” and “五十四岁(wǔshísì suì) fifty-four years old.” When you want to know someone’s age, you can ask “你几岁?(Nǐ jǐsuì?)” or “你多大?(Nǐ duō dà?)”

The Basic structure is: Subject + Number + “岁(suì)”

Examples

Wǒ jīnnián sānsuì le.
我   今年     三岁   了。
I’m three years old.

Zhāng Míng: Nǐ duō dà?
张        明:    你 多  大?
Zhang Ming: How old are you?

Linda:  Wǒ shíbā suì.
Linda:我   十八   岁。
Linda: I’m eighteen years old.

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