If you have turned 16, can you say that you are over 16 years old?

  • Amparo Calvo

    New Member
    Spanish - Spain
    What I want to know is if an over-sixteen-year-old boy is someone who is still 16 or someone who is 17 already.
    I mean, being over sixteen does only mean being 17 years old or older? Or it can also mean that once you have turned 16, you are an over sixteen-year-old?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Your problem is "an over-sixteen-year-old boy" is not idiomatic.

    A: "We need someone who is over 16 to do this job. Your friend John might be able to do it. How old is John?"
    B: "He's over sixteen"
    A: "How old is he exactly?"
    B: "He's 48."
     

    Amparo Calvo

    New Member
    Spanish - Spain
    I came across this, "But in case one party has reached the legal age and the other remains a minor
    over the age of 16, can get married with the consent of either parents or guardians of the minor."
    What do you understand? May the minor still be 16 when they get married?
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Anyone from 17 on, right?
    Right
    I came across this, "But in case one party has reached the legal age and the other remains a minor
    over the age of 16, can get married with the consent of either parents or guardians of the minor."
    What do you understand? May the minor still be 16 when they get married?
    That implies to me that the person must be 17 or older, up to the age of majority. In California that's 18, as is true in most states. So in the US that law would only apply to seventeen-year-olds.
     

    Amparo Calvo

    New Member
    Spanish - Spain
    As for the case suggested by you above, might John be able to do it if he were still 16? Because we may understand that once you have turned 16, on your birthday's day, you start being over 16 from that very moment, since you are closer to 17.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    As for the case suggested by you above, might John be able to do it if he were still 16? Because we may understand that once you have turned 16, on your birthday's day, you start being over 16 from that very moment, since you are closer to 17.
    I understand your logic but I don't thinks that's how the law works. The way to express that is "16 or older".
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    When you turn 16 on your 16th birthday you have lived 16 years and have started on your 17th year. That's why 'over-16's' means people who describe themselves as '16' when asked their age.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Last edited:

    Szkot

    Senior Member
    British English
    The latter. You are "over 16" when you have turned 17. Until then, your age is 16.

    For me 'over 16' means the same as '16 or over'.

    For example:

    It is not illegal:

    – for someone over 18 to buy a child over 16 beer, wine or cider if they are eating a table meal together in licensed premises

    means an 18-year-old may buy a 16-year-old beer ...
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    If someone became 16 a week ago, they are now sixteen years old in terms of whole numbers of years, or more precisely sixteen years and one week old.

    Anyone who has already reached age X is now "over X" - not only in a literal sense but, more significantly, the way the term is used.

    Even if their birth was in the evening, they acquire the age of X years old at the BEGINNING of that day, and any official check (eg for driving, drinking, legal consent, etc) is also not going to take account of differing timezones either.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    I think you'll find that the texts of laws actually don't say things like "over 16." The Illinois statutory rape provision (720 ILCS 5/11-1.60), for example, uses the following age-related terms, which are all perfectly clear and unambiguous:

    60 years of age or older
    17 years of age or over
    under 13 years of age
    at least 13 years of age but under 17 years of age
    under 17 years of age and
    at least 9 years of age but under 17 years of age
    at least 13 years of age but under 18 years of age
    17 years of age or over​
     
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