“How old are you?” in Korean – Asking someone’s age

When you meet new people, one question that might come up is age. Knowing how to say “How old are you” in Korean would come in handy in these moments.

A child with a curious expression

In this post, we’ll teach you the different ways to say it. Let’s get to it!

Different ways to ask “How old are you” in Korean

There are different ways to say “How old are you” in Korean, depending on who you are speaking with. We’ve listed them below.

Formal “How Old Are You” in Korean

Here is how you can formally ask, “How old are you?” in Korean.

1. 연세가 어떻게 되십니까? (yeonsega eotteoke doeshimnikka)

If you are in a formal situation such as a presentation or interview, then you can use the above expression to ask how old somebody is.


A: 연세가 어떻게 되십니까? (yeonsega eotteoke doesimnikka)

How old are you?

B: 마흔다섯 살입니다. (maheundaseot sarimnida)

I am 45 years old.

Standard “How Old Are You” in Korean

There are several ways to ask this question in Korean. Here are some of them.

1. 연세가 어떻게 되세요? (yeonsega eotteoke doeseyo)

This is usually used when speaking to somebody older than you.

2. 나이가 어떻게 되세요? (naiga eotteoke doeseyo)

If you are speaking to somebody of a similar age, then you can ask, “How old are you?” in Korean.

3. 몇 살이에요? (myeot sarieyo)

This is another way to ask when talking to someone of the same age, although 몇 살이에요 (myeot sarieyo) sounds a bit less formal than 나이가 어떻게 되세요 (naiga eotteoke doeseyo)?


A: 나이가 어떻게 되세요? (naiga eotteoke doeseyo)

How old are you?

B: 스무 살이에요. (seumu sarieyo)

I’m 20 years old.

Informal “How Old Are You” in Korean

Below is how you can ask someone about their age in an informal way. However, if you ask somebody their age, you are probably not close enough to them to get away with using informal language.

1. 몇 살이야? (myeot sariya)

It is best to play it safe and say 몇 살이에요 (myeot sarieyo)? instead of 몇 살이야 (myeot sariya)?

To learn more about the question word used for these sentences, you can read our article on “How” in Korean.

“What’s your date of birth” in Korean

This may not exactly be “How old are you,” but it’s another way to determine someone’s age.

You may hear people ask you for your birthdate. That means you’ll tell them your birth year, birth month, and birthdate (in that order). For example:

생년월일이 어떻게 됩니까? (saengnyeonworiri eotteoke doemnikka)

What’s your date of birth?

If you were born on Jan 15, 1995, you can say:

1995년 1월 15일 (천구백구십오 년 일 월 십오 일 | cheongubaekgusibo nyeon il wol sibo il)

This is a very common question if you go somewhere where you’ll need to be registered, such as at the dentist or doctor’s office. They use the year you were born plus your birth month and day to look you up in their systems.

Ways to reply to “How old are you” in Korean

How you respond to someone asking, “How old are you?” in Korean can vary based on the formality of the situation. Here are responses for different formalities.

Formal response

For a formal response, you can say:

저는 서른일곱 살입니다. (jeoneun seoreunilgop sarimnida)

I am 37 years old.

Standard response

For a standard response that is polite yet not overly formal, you can say:

저는 서른일곱 살이에요. (jeoneun seoreunilgop sarieyo)

I am 37 years old.

This is similar to the first response but in a less formal tone.

This response is suitable for everyday conversations and goes somewhere between formality and casualness.

Informal response

In a more casual setting with friends, you can say:

나는 서른일곱 살이야. (naneun seoreunilgop sariya)

I am 37 years old.

This response is suitable when talking to someone who is the same age as you or younger.

If you’re unsure of which response to use, the standard one is your best choice to avoid being rude.

Remember, age in Korea is often calculated differently, so you might also want to clarify if you’re using international age or Korean age.

How to say “age” in Korean

There are three words that can be used to say “age” in Korean. If you are speaking to somebody who is a lot older than you, or if you are in a formal setting, then you should use the word 연세 (yeonse).

If you are speaking to somebody younger than you or of a similar age, you can use the words 나이 (nai) or 살 (sal).

살 (sal) translates as something closer to “years old” rather than age. If you want to say “years old” when talking about someone a lot older than you, then you should say 세 (se) instead of 살 (sal).

Somewhat ironically, to ask somebody their age in Korean, you have to guess how old they are to allow you to use the correct level of politeness.

There is a big chance of confusion when non-Koreans talk about age with Koreans. The way that most South Koreans avoid confusion is to use the terms “Korean age” and “international age” when talking about age.

한국 나이 (Hanguk nai) – Korean Age

만 나이 (man nai) – international age

Example sentence:

저는 올해 스무 살이지만 만으로는 열아홉 살이에요. (jeoneun olhae seumu sarijiman maneuroneun yeorahop sarieyo)

I’m twenty in Korean age but nineteen in Western age.

These are some common Korean words that you’ll hear. You may notice them if you live in Korea and know how to read Hangeul.

Other Korean Age Terms

You may also hear these terms when people are talking about the international age. They all mean the same as “만 나이 (man nai).”

국제 나이 (gukje nai) – international age

미국 나이 (miguk nai) – American age

외국 나이 (oeguk nai) – foreign age

Wrap Up

Mastering how to ask “How old are you?” in Korean is crucial for engaging with Korean culture, whether it’s for personal relationships, enjoying K-Pop, or K-dramas. To make sure you are asking this question politely, learning all about Korean Speech Levels would also come in handy!

How old are you? Let us know in the comments below!

The post “How old are you?” in Korean – Asking someone’s age appeared first on 90 Day Korean.

Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series: http://www.90DayKorean.com/learn

Korean lessons   *  Korean Phrases    *    Korean Vocabulary *   Learn Korean   *    Learn Korean alphabet   *   Learn Korean fast   *  Motivation    *   Study Korean  


Please share, help Korean spread!