adjective placement impacts meaning


location, location, location...

As the "realtors" say when selling a house... location, location, location. Adjectives, when placed behind the noun translate to the "literal" meaning, ie: una casa vieja, means an old house. But.. if you place it before ~ "mi vieja casa" it means old as in former (in my old house we had a pool)... the placement of the adjective can impact, influence and CHANGE interpretation.

from ... please compare the before & after

  • antiguo: la antigua silla, the old-fashioned chair; la silla antigua, the antique chair
  • grande: un gran hombre, a great man; un hombre grande, a big man
  • mismo: el mismo atleta, the same athlete; el atleta mismo, the athlete himself
  • nuevo: el nuevo libro, the brand-new book, the newly acquired book; el libro nuevo, the newly made book
  • pobre: esa pobre mujer, that poor woman (in the sense of being pitiful); esa mujer pobre, that woman who is poor
  • propio: mis propios zapatos, my own shoes; mis zapatos propios, my appropriate shoes
  • solo: un solo hombre, only one man; un hombre solo, a lonely man
  • triste: un triste viaje, a dreadful trip; un viaje triste, a sad trip
  • único: la única estudiante, the only student; la estudiante única, the unique student