I know we can use "how heavy" to ask something's weight. But I am wondering can we use "how heavy" to ask for a person's weight? Is it appropriate?

2 Answers 2


In the United States, it is generally offensive to ask for a woman's weight because it suggests they may not be pretty. It doesn't matter how you ask. There are probably some men who feel the same way.

As far as language is concerned, "How heavy are you?" is a perfectly appropriate sentence.

  • 5
    But more typically one asks, "How much do you weigh?" or "What is your weight?"
    – Jim
    Mar 27, 2016 at 5:25
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    The word "heavy" is typically used for things that you plan to lift. I would probably only ask how heavy a person was if I was planning to pick up and carry that person for some reason. The same would usually apply for objects. For instance, if I'm about to carry a bag I might ask how heavy it is; if I'm worried that the bag will exceed the weight limit imposed by an airline, I would probably phrase it as "how much does this bag weigh?" Mar 27, 2016 at 17:04

You could use this question, but it's a bit risky: it could be seen as a biased question. These are the definitions of "heavy" from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

having great weight : difficult to lift or move

large in size and weight

having a particular weight

The first has clear overtones of "overweight", the second of "large"- so there are two inappropriate meanings that are more widely used than the meaning that you intended.

As Jim says, "How much do you weigh?" or "What is your weight?" are much safer, and are much more widely used and understood.

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