"صَحيفة اَلْمُهَنْدِس قَديمة."
Translation:The engineer's newspaper is old.
Clearly the meaning of the two phrases are different.
"The engineer's old newspaper" -- Incomplete sentence
"The engineer's newspaper is old." -- A complete sentence telling us the newspaper IS old
Without going into much grammar:
"The engineer's old newspaper": the word "old" here is an attributive adjective and would translate into:
صحيفة المهندس القديمة
"The engineer's newspaper is old.": the word "old" her is a predicate adjective and would translate into:
صحيفة المهندس قديمة
Note that in arabic you don't need to use the verb to be, as the "Esmia" sentence (Nominal Sentence) convey the same meaning without needing a verb.
The student is smart
Here, we have a Nominal Sentence composed of two names, where the second name describes the first.
Okay, I find this question quite interesting right now:
When I'm talking about two things; - the old engineer's newspaper..., and - the engineer's old newspaper...,
and incidentally, the engineer in question is female, how would the sentence structure be different from each other?
Or more like, when I stumbled upon the sentence,
"صحيفة المهندسة القديمة على الكرسى بجانبي،"
To which meaning does the character [القديمة] is more strongly affiliated to?