I know いくつ means 'how old', but what does いくつか mean in the following sentence?


3 Answers 3


いくつ in general means "how many"; this can also be applied to years to ask "how old" ("how many years") as you've pointed out.

か can be add to counter question words to mean "several ~".

  • ラーメン屋に学生が何人かいます。 → There are several (people) students in the ramen restaurant.
  • 先週のお祭りに何個かのたこ焼きを食った。 → I ate several takoyaki (balls) at the festival last week.
  • 緑茶、紅茶、ウーロン茶などいくつかの種類に分けられる。 → Tea is divided into several kinds, such as green tea, black tea, and oolong tea.

いくつ can also be used as an interrogative for indefinite number, that is, how many. To use indefinite expressions in non-question, か is combined with it.

  • いくつか - some number
    • いくつかの種類 - some number of kinds
  • いつか - at some point (Of time)
    • いつか彼には知らせるつもりだった。- I was going to tell him at some point.
  • なぜか - for some reason
    • 彼女はなぜかこの頃私を避けてる。 - She is avoiding me for some reason.

I know いくつ means how old

Without context, 「いくつ」 means "how many" far more often than it means "how old".

「いくつか」 means "some", "a few", "several", etc.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .