to get old / to get older

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by M. Shelley, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. M. Shelley Senior Member

    Valencia, Spain
    Spanish from Spain
    Hi. Could some native speaker explain to me what's the difference between to get old and to get older? And what about to grow old and to grow older? For me all these verbs mean in Spanish "envejecer" or that which is the same, "hacerse mayor".
  2. Txiri

    Txiri Senior Member

    USA English
    To get old, v. to get older, is a comparative sense.

    To get old: more objective, more direct

    Take with your customary grain of salt: :D

    -- A person in their 90s is getting old.

    --To a teenager, a person in their 30s is getting old.

    --To a twenty-year-old, a person in their 50s is getting old.

    My sense is the same distinctions hold with "to grow old" and "older", but "grow" is a 'softer' verb than 'get'. More poetic, more gentle.

    To get older: more subjective, more data are taken into account

    -- To a 45 year-old, a person in their 60s is getting older.
  3. srta chicken

    srta chicken Senior Member

    US English
    My two cents worth:

    "Getting older" also is used this way:

    15 year old kid: Mom, can I stay out til 10 pm tonight?
    Mom: Well, now that you're getting older, I guess you can stay out late now...but only on the weekends.

    It is not uncommon to use "to get old" about oneself:

    40 yr-old: Getting old sucks. It takes me longer to recover from my 10-mile runs than it used to.

    Obviously, someone who can run 10 miles still seems "young" to many people; "old" in this sense is invoked whenever it is that someone notices that they're aging.

  4. kaytpea New Member

    Lima, Perú
    English - USA
    To be honest, there isn't a huge difference between the two phrases. They both mean the same thing but the context is important. Usually, to 'get old' means that someone is actually old, while to 'get older' simply means to reach a higher age than your current age.

    Ex: Wow, the last time I saw you, you were a baby! You've gotten so old!
    The couple wants to have a baby, but they will wait until they get older.

    Generally, when someone uses the phrase 'grow old' instead of 'get old' the implication is that they're actually talking about elderly people.

    Ex. I want to get married and grow old with you.

    'Grow older' isn't used very much, but it is basically a nicer way of saying 'get older.'

    I hope that helps!
  5. M. Shelley Senior Member

    Valencia, Spain
    Spanish from Spain
    Thanks to everybody!

    If I'm right, "get older" could be translate into Spanish as "hacerse mayor" (actually, everybody is getting older, even children) and "get old" could be "envejecer" (at a certain age people can consider they're getting old). Therefore, I consider the second one more subjective than the first one, which is more obvious. What do you think?
  6. artstar89 Member

    Midlands, UK
    English (GB)
    You've got it! :)

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