We need some good euphemisms/synonyms right about now. "Elder, older adult, senior citizen, retiree, a senior" all have their place.
More familiarly one can say "geezer, old-man, old fart, gaffer, pops, grandpa, oldster ". Don't use these if you learning English unless you are very sure of your skills, or know the person well and can joke with them.
Just don't call me a "golden-ager" you might get some abuse hurled your way. Yuck!
In English it is Very rude, true or not. Use 'elderly', in real life or someone's son will end up beating the living snot out of you. It probably has an entirely different connotation in French; Sitesurf would know best. Don't ever get caught saying that in the U.S. about Anyone's mom- trust me on this.
Perhaps you have applied the meaning of the sentence to a specific example in your own mind. If your mother is 45 and someone calls her "old", you may be a little offended by that, depending on who says it and what the context is. However, if your mother is 94, and someone says she is old, it is not rude--it is just stating a fact which is obvious to everyone.
When I was learning German in high-school, my teacher would often use "y'all" for the second-person plural pronoun, so that's what I think of when I think of "vous." Now, living here in the South, it'd be perfectly normal to hear "Y'all's mothers are old." Just saying. :) If we wanted to be a bit more kindly we'd say "elderly" instead of "old."
Sorry for the oversight.
- un ancien collègue = a former colleague
- les anciens élèves = former students
- un vieil ami = an old friend
- les anciens/les anciennes/les séniors (as a noun) = the elderly
I checked on variants with ancien before/after the noun and got various translations I am not 100% sure of:
- un vieux manoir = an old manor
- un manoir ancien = an old/ancient manor
- un ancien manoir = a former/an ancient manor
Duolingo isn't asking you to make the sentence polite, just to translate it. "of age" means "Old enough to be considered an adult" (older than about 18 in many modern societies), so it's also changing the meaning. If I say "My mother is old", I'm not being rude, I'm simply stating a fact.
"vos" is the plural possessive matching the pronoun "vous", which as you know, can be singular and formal or plural.
"votre" in singular and "vos" in plural are adjectives agreeing with the noun they modify, and in this case the thing owned: "votre mère" = your mother and "vos mères" = your mothers.
In an extreme case, this "vos mères" could be said to one person you address formally and who could have 2 mothers.
Again, when you speak to 2 or more people, and use a possessive:
John and Mary, I like your car = John et Mary, j'aime votre voiture - they have one car which they share
John, Mary and Peter, your mothers are old = John, Mary and Peter, vos mères sont âgées - one mother per person, so 3 mothers in total.