What does Velho mean in Portuguese

18 de July de 2014

What’s up, guys, are you ok?
Well, I am back, I am in the house, I missed everybody. I hope you have missed me too. I came back here with the Video Dicas. We have a question for you: What does velho mean in portuguese? 

When do we use the word velho, when do we use the word idoso?
Let’s see:

What does velho mean in portuguese

Let’s see:
We use the word velho (or velha) for material things, objects. Things that don’t work very well, things that don’t work at all. For example:


Minha casa é muito velha.
My house is very old.

Este carro aqui é velho.
This car right here is old.

It’s not my car! Just To make things clear. But it is an old car, no, I don’t want to drive this car, and I think you don’t want to do it either.

The word idoso, we use it with people who are older than us, a person older than me, if we talk about age. So, we use the word idoso. I am not going to look at this friendly couple and say that they are velhos. It sounds very bad, sounds arrogant and also a bit disrespectful.


É um casal de idosos.
It’s an elderly couple.

É um casal de velhinhos.
It’s an elderly couple.

When I use this ending -inho, it also expresses caring. There is a Video Dica about diminutives that explain when we talk about its use to express affection.

So, let’s see one more time: Velho, for material things and objects. Idoso, for people that are older. Ok, guys?

Well, that’s it!
Now let’s check if you really understood the difference.

Now it’s your turn!

Complete the sentences using the words velho or idoso and there variations.

  1. Tenho um telefone ______ e quero comprar um novo.
  2. Meu avô tem 79 anos. Ele já é ______.
  3. Ele comprou uma bicicleta ______  e reformou.
  4. Meus sapatos estão bem ______.
  5. Haviam muitos ______ na fila do banco ontem.
  6. Ele vendeu seu carro ______ e usou o dinheiro para viajar.
  7. Os ______ fazem exercícios na praça pela manhã.
  8. Existe um assento especial para ______ nos ônibus.
  9. A ______ está atravessando a rua lentamente.
  10. Panela ______ faz comida boa.

Big hug for everybody. I missed you a lot. See you soon.
And we meet again in our next Video Dica.

Big hug!
Bye, bye!

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Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
Adjectives in Portuguese
The use of diminutives in Portuguese
The opposites in Portuguese
Difference between Bom and Bem
Adeus or Tchau in Portuguese


  1. velho
  2. idoso
  3. velha
  4. velhos
  5. idosos
  6. velho
  7. idosos
  8. idosos
  9. idosa
  10. velha