Ancient vs Old
Ancient and Old are two words that are often confused when it comes to their meanings and connotations. They may appear to be one and the same in terms of their meanings but actually they are not so. There is some difference between the two words.
The word ‘ancient’ is used in the sense of ‘prehistoric’ or ‘earliest’. On the other hand, the word ‘old’ is used in the sense of ‘aged’. This is the main differences between the two words. Although both the words denote a period of time, the word ‘ancient’ denotes the earliest period of time when compared to the word ‘old’. This is one of the main differences between the two words.
Take for example the two expressions, ‘an old building’ and ‘an ancient monument’. In the case of the first expression, ‘an old building’ refers to a building that was built long time ago but not dating back to the primeval times or the prehistoric times. On the other hand, the expression, ‘ancient monument’ refers to a structure that was built in the prehistoric or in the olden times. The word ‘ancient’ is used to refer to structures, constructions, and the like that were built centuries ago.
It is interesting to note that the word ‘old’ often refers to the age of a person or an animal as in the sentence ‘Francis is an old man’. In this sentence, the word ‘old’ refers to the age of Francis. In the same way, the word ‘old’ in the expression ‘old building’ also refers to the age of the building. On the other hand, the word ‘ancient’ is not used to refer to the age of human beings, but it is often used to refer to the age of non-living things like buildings and monuments.