Consider these sentences:

とし を とっている toshi wo totteiru

means 'old', and

その だんせい は おとしより です。 sono dansei wa otoshiyori desu.

means 'The man is old.'

The website I'm learning Japanese on gave me these sentences, why are there two different ways old is said and what is the difference?

  • 3
    There are many more than just two ways to say "old"...
    – istrasci
    Nov 9, 2018 at 15:21

1 Answer 1


年をとっている人 is more literal. It means that someone is old or aged stating directly that he or she has lived for many years (and therefore he or she is old).

お年寄り means elderly person and it is more polite.

Also note that 年をとる is a verb and お年寄り is a noun.

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