Ifugao tribesman, Banaue, Philippines [img source]

Now, let’s talk about the opposite of young, which was covered in this article. Once again, there are two words in Tagalog that mean old but for different purposes.

Matanda – this means old or elderly person. This word is only used for humans, animals or other living creatures.

E.g. Ang matanda ay lola mo. (The old woman is your grandmother.)

E.g. Mas matanda ako kaysa sa iyo. (I’m older than you.)

E.g. Matanda ang aso ni John. (John’s dog is old.)

Luma – this refers to inanimate objects being either old, depreciated, devalued, outdated, redundant or obsolete.

E.g. Luma ang kotse ko. (My car is old.)

E.g. Ibebenta ko ang computer ko kasi luma na. (I’m selling my computer because it’s now obsolete.)

E.g. Hindi ka luma. Matanda ka na. (You’re not old (object). You’re old (person).)

There you have it. Two words meaning “old” for two different reasons. Now that you know, don’t mix up the two.


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