How do you say OLD in Italian?

Old in Italian


Vecchio is how you say old into Italian when you refer to inanimate objects.

OriginFrom the Latin word vetulus, meaning “old” or “elderly”

Also, don’t use vecchio to describe people. That’s rude!


Old in Italian: Different forms

Like all other adjectives in Italian, vecchio needs to match the gender (masculine or feminine) and the number (singular or plural) of the noun.

old and polished car

Old in Italian: Examples

Ho trovato un libro molto vecchio in soffitta.
I found a very old book in the attic.

C’è una vecchia fotografia appesa al muro.
There is an old photograph hanging on the wall.

Sullo scaffale ci sono alcune vecchie riviste.
There are some old magazines on the shelf.

Questi stivali sono vecchi.
These boots are old.

a pair of mutton boots

If something is very old in a negative way, you can use the adjective obsoleto, “obsolete” or “outdated”.

Anziano is how you translate old in Italian when referring to people. It can also translate into English as “elderly”.

Using vecchio to describe an old man is considered rude.

Old (people), elderly

an elderly couple walking

For example, you can say…

Un anziano signore si è offerto di aiutarmi.
An elderly man offered to help.

L’anziana signora camminava con un bastone.
The elderly woman walked with a cane.

Gli anziani possono avere difficoltà a comprendere le nuove tecnologie.
The elderly may have difficulty understanding new technologies.

Old in Italian: Expressions

There is a number of common idioms featuring the word for old in Italian. Some of them are…

  • gallina vecchia fa buon brodo (the old bull knows best)
  • un vecchio amico (an old friend)
  • pane vecchio (stale bread)
  • vecchia volpe (wily old fox)
  • vecchio come il cucco (as old as dirt)
two old friends smiling

For example, you can say…

Michele è un vecchio amico d’infanzia.
Michele is an old childhood friend.

Quel cellulare è vecchio come il cucco. Dovresti comprarne uno nuovo.
That cell phone is as old as dirt. You should buy a new one.

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