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In the first page, this is written:

六{むっ}つのとき、原始林{げんしりん}のことを書{か}いた「ほんとうにあった話{はなし}」という、本{ほん}の中{なか}で、すばらしい絵{え}を見{み}たことがあります。

I don't have the English version, but the Brazilian version says the equivalent of:

Once upon a time, when I was 6 years old, I saw in a book about the Virgin Forest, Real Stories, a impressive drawing.

Would it be correct if I said something like 私が六歳のとき?

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  • 1
    My copy has a different Japanese translation: 僕が六歳だったときのことだ。 Oct 28, 2018 at 8:57

1 Answer 1

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(私が) [六歳]{ろくさい}のとき...
(私が) [六]{むっ}つのとき...

Both are correct.

「~歳」 can be used for all ages, and 「~つ」, for ages from 1 to 9, as in 「ひとつ、ふたつ、みっつ、よっつ、いつつ、むっつ、ななつ、やっつ、ここのつ」, and 「とお」 for 10. 「~つ」 is more casual/informal, and can sound a bit more childish than 「~歳」 (We use 「お幾つですか?」 for adults, too, though).

Adult (toward a little boy): 「ぼく、[幾]{いく}つ?」/ 「ぼく、[何歳]{なんさい}?」
Child: 「[3]{みっ}つ。」/「[3才]{さんさい}。」

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  • I see. So, also the answer depends on the questions as well, as in you use 歳 when asked 何歳 and use つ when asked 幾つ? Oct 28, 2018 at 11:27
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    @Patrick It's fine to reply with 歳 when asked 幾つ, eg 「ぼく、いくつ?」--「5歳。」/ 「おいくつで(いらっしゃいま)すか?」-- 「28歳です。」 or even without 歳 (over 11~): 「おいくつですか?/ お年は? etc.」--「28です。」
    – Chocolate
    Oct 29, 2018 at 8:57

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