**LESSON 35- How old are you?**

**Sai** is the counter for age. To ask "How old are you?", you would ask **Nansai desu ka**, **nansai** literally meaning "how many years". A more formal way to ask this is **Oikutsu desu ka**, but this is very formal and rarely in modern Japan. There are a few modifications in the first ten numbers, so please note them for they won't change as you get into the higher numbers. The are some of the ages between one and twenty-two are:

一歳 **Issai**- one year old

二歳 **Nisai**- two years old

三歳 **Sansai**- three years old

四歳 **Yonsai**- four years old

五歳 **Gosai**- five years old

六歳 **Rokusai**- six years old

七歳 **Nanasai**- seven years old

八歳 **Hassai**- eight years old

九歳 **Kyuusai**- nine years old

十歳 **Jussai**- ten years old

十一歳 **Juuissai**- eleven years old

十二歳 **Juunisai**- twelve years old

十三歳 **Juusansai**- thirteen years old

十八歳 **Juuhassai**- eighteen years old

二十歳 **Hatachi**- twenty years old

二十一歳 **Nijuuissai**- twenty-one years old

二十二歳 **Nijuunisai**- twenty-two years old

**Hatachi** is the only exception, since the age of twenty is the age you officially become an adult in Japan. Just use this with **desu** to make a complete sentence.

The word **tomodachi** means friend. In order to say "My friend Yumiko," you would say **Watashi no tomodachi no Yumiko chan**. Normally you would not expect this, but that is the pattern. The suffix **-chan** is used between close girl friends. Also, when introducing your **tomodachi**, you can be very formal and use the word **kochira**, which is "this is". So if you wanted to say "This is my friend Yumiko", you would say **Kochira wa watashi no tomodachi no Yumiko chan desu**.

Let's try having a small sample conversation between Toshiki and Kito, and Toshiki's friend Amane.

Toshiki: **Kito chan, konban wa. Ogenki desu ka.**

Kito: **Aa, Toshi kun, konban wa! Genki desu, anata wa.**

Toshiki: **Genki desu. Kochira wa watashi no tomodachi no Amane kun desu.**

Amane: **Konban wa, Kito san.**

Kito: **Konban wa! Watashi wa Kito desu. Hajimemashite douzo yoroshiku.**

Amane: **Hajimemashite. Nansai desu ka.**

Kito: **Juunanasai desu. Amane san wa.**

Amane: **Nijuuyonsai desu.**

In this dialogue, after they greet each other, Toshiki says, "This is my friend Amane." Amane says good evening and Kito replied, "Good evening! I'm Kito. It's nice to meet you." Amane replies, "It's nice to meet you. How old are you?" Kito replies that she is 17 and asks for his age in return. He replies that he is 24.

*Vocabulary Review*

-歳 **-sai**- age counter

何歳 **Nansai**- what age

お幾つですか **Oikutsu desu ka**- formal way of asking a person's age

一歳 **Issai**- one year old

二歳 **Nisai**- two years old

三歳 **Sansai**- three years old

四歳 **Yonsai**- four years old

五歳 **Gosai**- five years old

六歳 **Rokusai**- six years old

七歳 **Nanasai**- seven years old

八歳 **Hassai**- eight years old

九歳 **Kyuusai**- nine years old

十歳 **Jussai**- ten years old

十一歳 **Juuissai**- eleven years old

十二歳 **Juunisai**- twelve years old

十三歳 **Juusansai**- thirteen years old

十八歳 **Juuhassai**- eighteen years old

二十歳 **Hatachi**- twenty years old

二十一歳 **Nijuuissai**- twenty-one years old

二十二歳 **Nijuunisai**- twenty-two years old

友達 **Tomodachi**- friend

こちら **Kochira**- This is..

-ちゃん **-chan**- suffix used with girl friends