Language point

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 February, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 February, 2004, 12:00am

Age usually refers to the number of years that a person has lived. The following examples show some of the ways of referring to someone's age.

1. My mother is 40 years old.

2. My mother is a 40-year-old school teacher.

(Note: not 'a 40-years-old school teacher'. Also note that '40-year-old' here is a compound adjective, which we discussed on Tuesday.)

3. She teaches six-year-olds.

(Here, 'six-year-olds' is a noun. Remember to use hyphens to make it one unit.)

4. She teaches students aged six.

5. She became a teacher at the age of 26.

6. She was 26 years old when she became a teacher.

7. She started teaching six-year-olds when she was in her 30s.

('In her 30s' means between the ages of 30 and 40. Note: not 30's. 'In her early 30s' means she is over 30 but below 35, while 'in her late 30s' means she is over 35 but below 40.)