Both are acceptable but it would depend on the context.
By the way, you probably know that "nouveau" in front of a vowel or a non-aspired "h" becomes: un nouvel ami - un nouvel homme.
I just got an X for the answer on another task - un livre nouveau - why is that wrong? (The correct was supposedly un nouveau livre / un livre neuf.)
Beauty, age, goodness and size go before the noun. So, as 'nouveau' is dictating the age of the book, it would come first. At least that is how I read it. But, in this case, the man can't be 'new', but he can be transformed into a 'new' man. It is indicating state of being. Ah, heck, now I've confused myself! rofl
I can't reply to your reply on my comment down there, so I'm writing here.
OK, your two cases: - 1st one is a figurative meaning - according to the link provided the adjective should go before the noun - 2nd one is a literal meaning - the adj should come after
But you explained it as it's the opposite that holds. :/
Why is it acceptable to say "c'est"? Does that not translate as "it is a new man"? Surely it should be "il est"?
c'est Antoine -- he is Antoine
il est français -- he is french
C'est mon amie -- she is my friend
elle est grande -- She is tall
C 'est MON amie -- she is my friend (ma becomes mon in front of a feminine noun starting with a vowel)
Shouldn't it be "c'est ma amie" or "c'est mon ami"? I thought the masculine form of friend was "ami" and feminine was "amie"?
"C'est mon amie" and "c'est mon ami" is how you would spell it because of how "mon" conjugates.
Is there a reason for this? Is "il est un homme nouveau" also correct?
Edit: I found a very good explanation: http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/cest-versus-il-elle-est
Essentially, it's il/elle/ils sont/elles sont + adjective, and c'est/ce sont + noun.
In English a new man could mean either a different man or the sort of man who does the housework. Is French the same?
No, that expression does not exist in French with that meaning.
By the way, in France men don't do the housework anyway ;-)
Why exactly is it 'nouveau'? I understand the point of nouveau being used for consonants and 'nouvel' being used for vowels, so I used 'nouvel' and I got it wrong. Explain anyone? "/
nouveau is the basic form in masculine singular for all situations, except when the following word starts with a vowel or a non aspirate H:
un nouvel ami, un nouvel homme.
un ami nouveau, un homme nouveau.