"Excuse my grandfather, he is old."
Translation:Scusate il nonno, è vecchio.
When learning articles, I was able to determine through a discussion that possessive articles were especially necessary when referring to people (and family). Why is it not required in this case?
The determinative article is not used with the possessive before a singular family member: vediamo mia madre/we see my mother, mangia con suo padre/he eats with his father, mia sorella legge un libro/my sister reads a book
The determinative article is used with the possessive before multiple family members, or when the possessive is loro: i miei fratelli scrivono/my brothers write, le tue cugine cucinano/your cousins cook, la loro figlia mangia una mela/their daughter eats an apple
But if the possessive is not present, then it can be translated literally in English to the grandfather. The difference is that in Italian forgoing the possessive and using only the article would be fine since the group you're speaking with probably knows whose grandfather is whose.
I thought "grande" was a polite way of saying "old," so I used it instead of "vecchio" but was marked wrong.
'Grand/e' in French means the same as in English, 'great.' For example, if we say 'My great grandfather' we are actually saying 'My great, great father.' In other words, the word 'grand/e' carries no connotation of age.
I was told "anziano" is polite, especially referring to an elderly person - and "vecchio" is not (better used for a bridge!). In fact ], look at il Ragazzini dictionary. I'll go with "anziano" - wrong here or not!