"I am a new man."
Translation:Je suis un nouvel homme.
The adjective "nouveau" and its relatives go before the noun.
And since "homme" starts with a mute H, the "nouveau" becomes "nouvel."
the adjectives nouveau (nouvelle) and neuf (neuve) have distinctly different meanings
nouveau means something has changed / new to me so it’s a subjective descriptor
Nouveau means new in the sense of new to the owner - a change or improvement; that is, something that is new because it's different than what came before, regardless of whether it is brand new from the store. The opposite of nouveau is ancien (former).
neuf indicates that something is newly-made / brand new so it is objective/factual. Neuf means new in the sense of brand new, fresh out of the factory, first of its kind. The opposite of neuf is vieux (old).
The natural placement for subjective adjectives is before the noun and objective adjectives come after the noun.
As-tu vu ma nouvelle voiture ? - Have you seen my new car? (The car is not necessarily factory new but means new to the speaker.)
Il a mis une nouvelle chemise. - He put a new shirt on. (He took off the shirt he was wearing and put a different one on in its place. )
C'est nouveau. - It's new. (I just bought/found/made it.)
Nous avons un nouvel appartement. - We have a new apartment. (We just moved.)
J'ai vu le nouveau pont. - I saw the new bridge. (The replacement for the one that got washed out.)
Je n'ai jamais acheté une voiture neuve. - I've never bought a new car. (I always buy used cars.)
Il a acheté une chemise neuve. - He bought a new shirt. (He went to the store and bought a brand-new shirt.)
Comme neuf. - As good as new. (It's fixed, so now it's just like new.)
Nous avons un appartement neuf. - We have a new apartment. (We live in a brand-new building.)
J'ai vu le Pont neuf. - I saw the Pont neuf (in Paris). (at the time it was, it was a brand-new bridge in a brand-new spot.)
I answered "Je suis un homme nouvel." and it was wrong; the correct answer listed was "Je suis un homme nouveau."
Yes. "Nouvel" will only come before the noun starting with a vowel or a mute H.
"Nouveau" coming after the noun means original or never seen before. Objectively new to everyone in existence. This is a rare placement of the adjective. "Nouveau" before the noun means subjectively new. The man is new to himself.