Year Old or Years Old?

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Years old or year old – which is correct? We use both “years old” and “year old” depending on the sentence!

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When to use “years old”

When talking about a person’s age, and the person comes first in the sentence, then we say the person (or thing) is a number of years old:

  • I’m thirty years old.
  • My nephew is fourteen years old.
  • These houses are 200 years old.

The only exception is one year old – it’s always one year old, never one years old:

  • My baby is one year old.

Note that we always use AM/ARE/IS + years old, not HAVE/HAS + years old:

  • My daughter has eight years.
  • My daughter has eight years old.
  • My daughter is eight years old.

We could also say am / are / is + __(age)__ without “years old”:

  • I’m thirty.
  • My nephew is fourteen.
  • My kids are six and eight.
  • My baby is one.

When it is somebody’s birthday, we say they turn __(age)__

  • We threw a big party when my mother turned fifty.
  • My husband’s turning forty next month.
  • My youngest cousin just turned three.

When to use “year old”

When the age is being used as an adjective before the name of the person/thing, then we say year-old and not years old:

  • My six-years-old son is starting school next week.
  • My six-year-old son is starting school next week.
  • This is a 200-years-old house.
  • This is a 200-year-old house.
  • A 45-years-old woman won the race.
  • A 45-year-old woman won the race.

Now try to make your own example sentences with years old and year old, so that you can remember how to use them correctly in English!

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