Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

何歳ですか?

いくつですか?

年齢は?

お年は?

I think all are question sentences of "How old are you?" which are they differ?what are most poilte form??

share|improve this question
2  
ご年 is ungrammatical. It should be お年. –  user458 Aug 19 '11 at 13:17
    
幾つ is a really rare spelling for 'いくつ'... I don't think there's any reason to use it here... –  Dave Aug 20 '11 at 2:14
1  
お年 should probably be お歳 :) –  Enno Shioji Aug 20 '11 at 4:26
    
One more way: "なんぼ?" –  Axioplase Aug 21 '11 at 10:59

2 Answers 2

幾つですか?

いくつ is not normally spelled with kanji. Also, this is actually asking, ‘How many?’ To ask for someone's age, you should use the honorific form: いくつですか。 This is the standard way.

何歳ですか?

This is direct, but still in the polite form.

年齢は?

This is direct and also informal. I can't imagine many situations where this would be appropriate. Maybe if you're asking a child what their age is.

ご年は?

I can't say I've ever seen this before...

share|improve this answer
    
幾つ is 'how many', not 'how much'. The latter is 幾ら or いくら. Although makes difference in politeness, it does not make difference in grammaticality. It is just that since the rest is in polite form (です), it is strange not to have the . –  user458 Aug 19 '11 at 14:06
2  
"Maybe if you're asking a child what their age is." Side note: For children, it's common to ask for a school grade instead of age, so 「何年生?」 can work for 「何歳?」. (But then you have to mentally convert from the 6-3-3 grading system to actual age, of course. :) –  Derek Schaab Aug 19 '11 at 15:53
    
@Derek Are there repeats in the Japanese school system too? –  Pacerier Apr 27 '12 at 5:57

I will probably go with "お歳をお聞きしてもいいですか?" if I had to ask the age of some stranger or customer etc. If the other person is a female, I might throw in "大変申し訳ありませんが" before the question. It is considered impolite to ask a female her age in Japan. If you have to ask for whatever reason, you are expected to take extra care.

If you are asking an acquaintance, "何歳ですか?" or "何歳でいらっしゃるんですか?" will be more natural. You should use 何歳でいらっしゃるんですか if you think the other person is senior than you. おいくつですか? おいくつでいらっしゃるんですか is also appropriate in this situation.

年齢 is not commonly used to form questions, perhaps because it is a bit formal or even a bit bureaucratic. A police officer or something could ask 年齢を教えてもらえますか? ご年齢は? and so on. It is frequently used in formal situations, as in 国民の平均年齢は or 年齢が高い層の平均貯蓄額はX万円だった etc.

Finally, when you address an young child, you can say なんさい? or いくつ?.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 Very nice concrete examples. –  Derek Schaab Sep 7 '11 at 15:02

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.