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How to ask “how old are you” in French – Basic French 101


France is a wonderful country filled with a rich culture and vibrant cuisine. Millions of people around the world wish to travel to France and even live there. But the only true way to experience a country is to know the language and the customs of said nation. Don’t worry, learning a language is difficult but it quickly becomes achievable once we break it down into chunks.

Today, we will be going over how to ask someone their age in French and whether you even should.

Image by Bessi from Pixabay

What You Need To Know About Asking How Old Are You in French

To ask someone their age in French you say: Quel âge avez-vous? This way of asking someone how old they are is seen as formal and can even be used in a plural sense. Though it may seem as if there are only four words above, try to pronounce it as if there were only three words. In fact, the avez-vous does not need a space where the dash is placed. It should be a seamless and skillful transition from one word to the next.

The Quel and age are more visibly stand-alone words and as such should pose no problems for you. When speaking French, do be sure to extend the final syllable in each word. This elongated pronunciation method is a hallmark of this romantic language and should not be ignored. Especially if you want pronunciation on par with a native which I’m sure is every language learner’s goal.

Should You Even Bother Asking Someone His Age?

If you know someone really well, on the level of a friend or a romantic partner, perhaps even a family member then it is acceptable to ask someone their age. It won’t be seen as rude so long as your tone is not demanding.

Be warned, however, that asking anyone else is seen as being impolite. This rude behavior is only aggravated when speaking to a woman. Asking about someone else’s age may even be seen as nosy behavior. The French look down on this kind of behavior, more so if you’re an American. This is because a common stereotype in France is that Americans are very nosy.

how old are you in french
Quel âge avez-vous? – How old are you? — Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Informal Way of Asking

There is more than one way of asking someone their age in French and they differ in etiquette. Let’s say that you visit a close friend and are conversing with him over a glass of wine. You want to know their age. You would ask them in the following manner: Quel âge as tu? This is how you would ask somebody that you are familiar with.

It may even be seen as rude if you ask in a more formal tone when speaking to a close friend. They may believe that you don’t value their friendship in the same way that they do.

When speaking to anyone else, be sure to ask in this manner: Quel âge avez-vous? For whatever reason, if you need to ask somebody that you aren’t familiar with of their age, this is the way to go about such a task.

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Image by DunJa2410 from Pixabay


There are formal and informal ways to ask someone how old are you in French. If they bother to say how old they are, they would reply with J’ai x ans. (I am x years old.)