Spanish: Placement of adjectives.
I always thought the adjectives came after the verbs, for example, El invierno largo would be the long winter, but I saw this sentence in one of the exercises: "El largo invierno acaba" meaning the long winter ends. Was this a mistake in the course, or amI missing some rule? Does anyone know? Thanks.
Hi FisherSamantha! This link may help you: http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/whereadjective.htm, and provide some other adjective placement rules. Hope this helps! :)
Someone else posted a link to the About.com Spanish page, which is very helpful! I'm going to just type some stuff out here that I know personally from experience and nearly five years of studying Spanish.
Generally adjectives come after the noun. "Tengo un coche verde." "El estudiante inteligente estudia mucho." etc. It's the general placement.
However, this isn't always the case. Sometimes adjectives come before, and it can change meaning. "El hombre viejo" and "el viejo hombre" mean two different things. The first means old man; that's about it. With the second, there is a certain connotation. He's old, so he's wise and experienced. Same happens with other nouns. In your example, "el largo invierno" must mean a long, long winter. Probably one that seemed like it was never going to end. The adjective is much more emphatic.
When using certain adjectives in front of nouns, the spelling changes. Grande ---> gran (un gran éxito). Bueno ---> buen (un buen día). Note: Buena does NOT change! I suggest looking up an entire list because I can't think if there are any more adjective that do this.
My Spanish teacher (a native speaker) always told me that adjectives that precede the noun sound more poetic and fancy. If you read poetry, many times the adjectives do go in front of the noun, making the poem sound more sophisticated. Hope this helps!