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How to Express Age in Chinese?

Dec. 18, 2013

In the video, the little girl was introducing herself in Chinese with the help of her mother. She said: “我现在是四岁了。(Wǒ xiànzài shì sì suì le.) I’m 4 years old now.” She was doing great, and only made a small mistake. In the Chinese language, to express age, the structure is “Subject + Number + 岁(suì).” “岁(suì)” means “year(s) old.”

Example Wǒ jiǔ suì.

我  九  岁。

I’m 9 years old.

After the subject, we can also add time words such as “现在(xiànzài) now,” “今年(jīnnián) this year,” “那时(nàshí), that time” etc. The structure is “Subject + Time Word + Number + 岁(suì).”

Examples: Wǒ xiànzài bā suì.

现在     8  岁。

I’m 8 years old now.

Nǎinai jīnnián qīshí suì.

奶奶   今年     70    岁。

Grandmother is 70 years old this year.

Thus, in the video, “是(shì)” should be omitted. The right way to say, “I’m four years old now,” is “我现在四岁了。(Wǒ xiànzài sì suì le.)”


1. If someone asks about your age, you can say___.

A. 我7岁。(Wǒ qī suì.)

B. 我7。(Wǒ qī.)

C. 我是7岁。(Wǒ shì qī suì.)

2. Which of the following sentences is wrong?

A. 我今年25岁。(Wǒ jīnnián èrshíwǔ suì.)

B. 我那时11岁。(Wǒ nàshí shíyī suì.)

C. 我5岁现在。(Wǒ wǔ suì xiànzài.)

See answers

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Am sorry laoshi because my question….
Ni hao,
Ni hao ma? Ni duele haoma? …. if i want to ask a question ina chinese, how can i differenciate between Ba, Ni, Ma, Aah and like this example Hao ah

Hi Yakubu. It’s a good question.

When you ask questions in the Chinese language you should choose different question particles in different situations. The three most common question particles in the Chinese language are “吗(ma),” “呢(ne),” and “吧(ba).” All three can be used to form questions when placed at the end of a sentence. However, the situations in which each particle should be used are slightly different.

1. 吗(ma)
You can form tag questions with 吗 (ma). Tag questions are quick questions that are tagged on the end of a sentence to ask for confirmation. In English, this is often done with “right?” or negatively with “isn’t it?” The easiest way to do this in Chinese is to add some kind of confirmation word and 吗 (ma) on the end of the sentence.

Liú Míng: Nǐ xǐhuan chī jiǎozi ma?
刘 明: 你喜欢吃饺子吗?
Liu Ming: Do you like to eat dumplings?

Bruce: Xǐhuan.
Bruce: Yes I like them.

2. 呢(ne)
“呢(ne)” can be used to return a question that the speaker has just been asked. This use relies entirely on context, and it is often equivalent to saying “and … ?” “what about … ?” or “how about … ?” in English.
Zhào Wěi: Nǐ zài nǎlǐ gōngzuò?
赵 伟: 你在哪里工作?
Zhao Wei: Where do you work?

Cindy: Běijīng. Nǐ ne?
Cindy:北京。你 呢?
Cindy: Beijing. What about you?

3. 吧(ba)
“吧(ba)” is usually used after a statement that the speaker thinks is correct but would like to confirm. It can also be used to imply that the speaker expects the listener will agree. This is the equivalent of adding a tag question in English, or following a statement with “对吧(duì ba)?…right?” or “好吧(hǎoba)?…OK?”

The sentence structure is:

Statement Sentence + 吧(ba)?

= Statement Sentence, 对吧(duì ba)?

= Statement Sentence, 好吧(hǎo ba)?
Here, “对吧(duì ba)?” means “right?” and “好吧(hǎoba)?” means “OK?”
Nǐ shì Wáng Míng de jiějie ba? Nǐ shì Wáng Míng de jiějie, duì ba?
你是王明的姐姐吧?= 你是王明的姐姐,对吧?
You are Wang Ming’s elder sister, right?

Wǒmen yìqǐ qù yóuyǒng ba? = Wǒmen yìqǐ qù yóuyǒng, hǎo ba?
我们一起去游泳吧?= 我们一起去游泳,好吧?
Let’s go swimming together, OK?

Hope it helps!

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