Friday, May 10, 2013

Estoy a punto de llegar al cuarto piso

In my last post I talked about birthdays in Spanish - Estoy de cumple.  If you haven't read it yet, you should, because I talk about several birthday-related words your Spanish book left out.

Today we're going to continue on with the subject of age and if you thought your Spanish book betrayed you on the topic of birthdays, well, it's not going to get any better.

You've probably already mastered this bit of Spanish:

¿Cuántos años tienes?
How old are you?

Tengo 24 años
I'm 24

Your Spanish book leaves you high and dry after that, but that's where this post comes in to save the day.

You can also reply with:

Tengo 24
I'm 24

OK, that's just a slightly different version of what your Spanish book taught you, but I just wanted to let you know you can say it without the word "años".  It seems rather obvious, but I wondered about that for a long time.

Here are some more options.

Tengo cuarenta y algo 
I'm 40 something

Tengo treinta y algo
I'm thirty something

Tengo veinte y tantos
I'm twenty something

You don't even need the verb tener.

Apenas trienta y cinco
Barely thirty five.

 Now it's time for the really fun stuff.

Adivina cuántos años tengo
Guess how old I am

You could also just say:


If you really want to have fun, you can reply with:

¿Cuántos años me pones?
How old do you think I am?

Literally that means how many years do you put on me, but literal translations don't always make sense, like in this case.

If someone asks you this question, you need to be ready to reply.  Let's take a look at this short dialog:

¿Cuántos años me pones?
How old do you think I am?

Te pongo 30
I think you're about 30

Uy, no, tengo 22
Um, no, I'm 22

Isn't that embarrassing.  Let's hope that doesn't happen to you.

Sometimes you don't mind telling people your age in general, but you don't want to discuss specific numbers.   The verb IR really comes in handy for this.

Voy para los treinta
I'm going on 30

Voy para los sesenta
I'm going on my 60's

Mi hija va para dos años
My daughter is going on two

You can also use the verb estar.

Mi hermano esta en su treinta
My brother is in his thirties

Mi esposo esta en los cuarenta
My husband is in his 40's

Here are even more cool options to talk about your age.

Soy cuarentón
I'm in my 40's

Es una cicuentona muy atractiva
She's a very attractive 50 year old

Use the verb ser to be somewhat specific about you age no matter how old you are:

Soy (I'm).....
veinton/veintona                I'm in my 20's
treintón/trientona               I'm in my 30's
cuarentón/cuarentóna         I'm in my 40's
cincuentón/cicuentona        I'm in my 50's
sesentón/sesentona             I'm in my 60's
setentón/setentona             I'm in my 70's
ochentón/ochentona           I'm in my 80's
noventón/noventona           I'm in my 90's

Surprisingly, or maybe not, there's another way to say the same thing.


Which version of the above you use is up to you.

Of course, you could always take Mafalda's approach on the subject of age:

Hopefully you got a laugh out of that.  And if you don't know who Mafalda is, you're really behind in your Spanish culture.  Maybe Malfada will be the focus of future post.

That leaves us with one more thing to discuss.

Estoy a punto de llegar al tercer piso 
I'm about to arrive at the 3rd floor

OK, that's the literal translation but at this point I think we all know what's really going on.

When you llegar to the 3rd floor, it's a way of saying you're about to turn 30.

You can arrive to a number of floors, like the quinto piso (5th floor) , and yes, you guessed right, it means you're about to turn 50.  Throw the floor in you need and you're good to go.

Well, I think that's enough for one blog post.  Now go forth and impress your Spanish speaking amigos with your new found ability to talk about, or even avoid talking about your age.

¡Hasta la próxima!


  1. Gracias, este blog no solo sirve a personas que estudian español, también sirve para las personas que estudiamos ingles, ¡muchas gracias!

  2. Rodney,
    Sometimes when you ask a woman her age she will smile coyly and say "Ta y ocho" (sounds like tay ocho). It could mean any of the following:
    treinta y ocho
    cuarenta y ocho
    cincuenta y ocho
    (et cetera)

  3. I love your idea for this blog. I guess that 'book' Spanish has to be learned too at some point but I think being able to have a conversation in Spanish is the first thing that anyone who is learning the language should aim for. I've picked up some useful words and phrases from some of your blog posts that I had not come across before, very useful - Thanks!

  4. Enhorabuena por el post y el blog. In Spain, when you say for instance, 'cuarentón, or cuarentona' may sound unpolite. Just to keep in mind just in case you say to a woman ;)