Spanish has a kind of neutral (but not as standalone nouns like in this example, you are right), like French does for instance, but it takes the appearance of a masculine. It's in "lo", "ello", and for French, in "ça", "il" (when impersonal), and when using a collective masculine...
Lo bueno, for instance, is a neutral, (with "bueno" having the appearance of a masculine)
I know that a lot of people are not aware of it, but there's a reason why the masculine form is used for mixed gender and collective stuff. It's not a masculine, it's a collective neutral, taking the form of a masculine.
So, "An interesting problem" is apparently correct. Yet when I moused over the word "problema," it said the word could mean "problem" or "matter" and when I answered "An interesting matter" it said I was wrong and should have said "An interesting issue." I get that all three words have similar meaning, but I don't understand why one of the given options is wrong, and an option not given at all is considered one of the right ones.
Jojo, this is misleading, and not good advice. Never consider the word order in one language to find the word order in another one.
They have different rule to place words, and the rule are not related.
Adjectives in Spanish are usually placed after the noun, but not always. So, your explanation doesn't work or apply.
@Brandon. Don't think in term of "switching" words, but learn the rule of the construction of a Spanish sentence. Do not think in relation to the English rules, think about the rule of the place of the words in Spanish. You don't need English for this, and English will be misleading for this: think as a Spanish.
The rules are:
- In Spanish, usually, the adjective comes after the noun.
- But it's not always the case, to make simple, the adjectives that follow a noun are neutral in the meaning, and rather descriptive.
The adjectives that come before a noun, are emphasizes, rather subjective, and emotionally charged.
So, just use noun + adjective here.
Problema is masculine so you'd use un as the indefinite article rather than una. As a general rule, Spanish nouns ending in -ma are masculine. Also, Spanish nouns ending in -dad are usually feminine. Just have to remember the irony of -ma being masculine and -dad as feminine.
Nouns of Greek origin ending in -a, often -ma, are nearly always masculine.
el problema (problem) el drama (drama) el poema (poem) el tema (subject)
All of the Spanish rules you think you know have exceptions. Be flexible, patient, and curious.
I am new to Spanish, but I think most adjectives in Spanish come after the noun. Here un problema is a noun and interesante is an adjective.
However possessive adjectives (my, his, her, our, etc.) come before the noun and demonstrative adjectives such as this and these come also come before the noun.
Review gender in the Intro skill. Redo the exercises there until you have a firm grasp of the gender concept in Spanish.
Here are some articles that I have used: https://www.thoughtco.com/search?q=using+gender+in+spanish https://www.thoughtco.com/gender-inherent-characteristic-of-spanish-nouns-3079266
While your web browser is opened use the search feature to look for information about the subject you are interested in. Read wide and deep. Be curious and thoughful and return to previous readings to glean more and deeper meaning from things that you thought you understood but are now having trouble with. Write down things that seem important to you. Return to your notes to review what you think you used to know.
Don't move on from a learning objective until you mastered it.