"Quiero un gran elefante."

Translation:I want a big elephant.

December 27, 2012


Sorted by top post


Some adjectives change to a shortened version when they precede a masculine singular noun to aid in pronunciation and flow. These are called apócopes.


January 29, 2013


Gran is an unusual apócopes in that it is used for both masculine and feminine nouns.

February 21, 2013


So, generally speaking, adjectives follow nouns and agree in quantity and gender, except some, like "grande," can change their meaning when they go before the noun.

So "gran" before a noun means great, except before a masculine singular noun it means large, except for sometimes it's also for feminine nouns, and oh, it all really depends on context anyway.

Spanish is sounding more like English all the time, with it's rules that aren't really rules at all.

So just remember this: i before e, except after c, unless you're running a feisty heist on a weird beige foreign neighbor.

March 25, 2014


Have you tried listening to a native speaker while applying rules to translate? It doesn't work. The same goes if we want to speak fluently. I'm starting to think that the best thing to do is to expose ourselves over and over, without really analysing the grammar too much. It seems then that our brains begin to work more on a instinctual level which is necessary for fluency. This is something I have come to appreciate through listening to Spanish audio books, which at first almost seem like a blur. The more I expose myself to them though, it is as if time is slowing down and magically I am able to make more sense of them. I also think it is part of the genius of duolingo, in that it is constantly drilling and exposing us to the language without teaching us over-reliance on rules. I'm not saying that rules don't have any value, just that they won't help to become fluent. To become fluent we need to stop translating and really think in the language.

March 26, 2014


I agree entirely with all of what you've written. That is, in fact, how we learn our native languages. Nobody sits down with an infant and explains the parts of speech. You teach them how to say "mama" and "dada" and go from there.

Of course, none of this will stop me from complaining about it all now and again.

March 26, 2014


Infants learn via brute force. They have to, but it isn't necessarily efficient. By the time you're a young adult, you understand the parts of grammar. You understand nouns, verbs, conjugation, etc. Why wouldn't you want to take advantage of that? Sure, there will be exceptions to every rule, but the rules are valid for the most part. Why limit yourself to doing things the hard way? If you want to learn via brute force, try Rosetta Stone. It doesn't seem to get very good reviews, for some reason.

May 22, 2014


I'm not sure I agree. Learning the rules has helped me a great deal. I just have learnt that they don't apply every single time. Personally I find it easier to learn the general rules, and then learn the exceptions.

June 15, 2014


I agree with you. I think learning rules helps, as long as you understand that some rules are hard and fast, others are usually strict but occasionally exceptions are made, and then there are 'rules' which are mere suggestions. I guess the point is that rules can help in some circumstances, but learning a language requires abstract thinking. Memorizing a limited amount of phrases and rules feels easier to some people, but they aren't the least bit fluent. They can't actually hold a real conversation.

July 23, 2014


I have to agree. My mom grew up in Mexico, so I grew up hearing Spanish. Now I hardly get to see them, so this is mainly so that my Spanish doesn't get rusty. But it is easier to learn any language when you can hear it. And I think Duolingo does that very well.

April 20, 2015


Very good thanks

March 30, 2018


Right. I think I get that now.

February 19, 2017


Alright very good

March 30, 2018


If gran is used with both masculine and feminine singular, and the plural is grandes, then when is grande used?

February 27, 2013


Grande means big and follows the noun, gran means great and precedes the noun. Un hombre grande = a big man; Un gran hombre = a great man.

July 7, 2013


But this uses "gran" and it means "big"...

July 18, 2013


My Mexican friend told me that gran means great unless you can infer from context it's big.

September 19, 2013


This is a good translation because it shows us that the idea that "gran" before a noun means, "great," is not absolute. The basic idea behind the root, "grande," obviously, though, does mean "greatness," and mainly in size, which in English is, "big."

February 21, 2014


So how would you say "great elephant", like Dumbo?

August 26, 2014


I want a big elephant too!

October 2, 2014


@ tabithadas & The Duo Comment Community - re: apócopes and adjective placement

Hola tabithadas and everybody. This is a ready great exercise sentence.

There are a lot of comments that seem to suggest that the rules of Spanish grammar are becoming to burdensome to even attempt to understand because this exercise sentence seems to break some rules.

In particular, many of us are starting to catch on that "grande" is an adjective that means "big" or "large" when it comes after the noun that it modifies.

And we've also come to realize that "gran" seem like a completely different adjective with its own meaning "great" and its own spelling "gran" when it comes in front of the niun it's modifying.

Then the whole thing breaks down in front of elefante. The hyperlink to spanishdict points to a list of short form adjective that can be used with masculine singular nouns.

The list is composed of several kinds of adjectives.

Adjectives that express subjective opinions like; "buen" and "mal"

Adjectives of quantity like; "algún", "ningún", "un", "primer" and "trecer"

These are all adjective that are meant to come before the noun that they modify.

This is a pretty simple grammar rule. In Spanish, opinion and count adjectives come before the noun they modify. See the adjective section of "Spanish Grammar for Dummies".

I have not read anything about the adjective title for "saint". But it sounds reasonably like the syntactic style of Spanish grammar to have a short form of the word "Saint" to put in front of a name.

Now, that addresses ever adjective on the Spanishdict apócopes hyperlink list except one word, "gran".

I have already said that for all intents and purposes, "grande" is its own word meaning "big" or "large".

The word "gran" has its own spelling and a completely different meaning, "great".

Therefore, it's terrible idea to think of "gran" as a short form of "grande". That doesn't make any sense.

Now think of "gran" meaning "great" and its homonym "gran" meaning "big" or "large". Two different words, spelled exactly the same.

Now recalled that "Spanish Grammar for Dummies" has already said that you can use an adjective in front of a noun if it merely states an obvious, innate quality of the noun it's referring to.

Well, what's the first thing that pops into mind when you think of an elephant. Exactly! BIG.

Therefore the context is obvious that the word "gran" in this situation is the homonym that means "big" (just like ichilingo's mexican friend said).

Trying reading that Spanishdict page next to a more meaningful source and you'll see. It's just not that accurate.

Spanish grammar all still works and there's no need to abandon it over this. Everything is still cool, so just R E L A X.


December 12, 2014


A helpful article, thank you. Minor note: they call an accent a tilde. The enye (ñ) uses the tilde to signify an alveopalatal nasal phoneme. Written Spanish uses accents for a variety of reasons, including showing irregular stress patterns but primarily for disambiguation. Por ejemplo, the word "donde" is the relative pronoun "where," but "dónde" is the wh-word "where?" So, "...the place where we met..." uses the relative pronoun (sin acento), whereas "Where shall we meet?" uses the wh-question word (con acento). ¿Me entienden?

August 24, 2014


When a medium elephant just won't do.

March 10, 2014


Yes, and a small elephant just doesn't exist.

August 11, 2015


Sure! What else sweetie?!

February 13, 2014


i want the souls of the innocent

August 13, 2016


Isn't the adjective supposed to come AFTER the noun, i.e. "Quiero un elefante grande."???

January 22, 2013


That's what I thought at first, too, but apparently in Spanish it can be either way and usually depends on which is more important.

This is how Caiser explained it to me.

"If you are in a store and you see a new recently received sofa, the seller will say you "Es el nuevo sofa". If you are at house and You have bought a sofa, You will say "Es un sofa nuevo". In the first sentence you are saying that it is a recent received, created, made... one in the secont that it is new (not old)"

I don't know about gran vs. grande, though. Maybe a Spanish speaker can explain that one.

January 22, 2013


There are adjectives who change the meaning if they're before or after the nouns, but this is not general rule.In general, in Spanish, the adjectives are after the nouns, often we can put the adjectives before the nouns, and the adjective does not change the meaning.... ............... ............... Sorry, my english is bad...................................bye.

November 22, 2013


you are correct.

Si está situado delante del nombre: Se usa "gran"-(singular), "grandes"-(plural)

Cuando lo situamos detrás del nombre: Se usa "grande" -(singular), "grandes"-(plural)

Nota: En este caso es igual para masculino y femenino.

Nosotros elegimos poner en primer lugar la palabra ("big" or "elephant") que es más importante (ourselves).

"Gran elefante". De esta manera damos a entender que "para nosotros" (ourselves), es más relevante (más énfasis) el tamaño que el propio elefante.

May 20, 2013


Exemples : un buen libro but una buena idea. un mal momento but una mala idea. una gran casa, un gran jardín. grande is masc uline and feminine. Otras exemples : there are adjectives who change the meaning if they're before or after the nouns. EX : un pobre hombre= a poor man (pity) and un hombre pobre= a man who has no money. su nueva casa= his new house,( he just bought it) and una casa nueva= means that the house is real new. That's from my grammar.

November 22, 2013


Another example

"Un gran hombre" is different than "un hombre grande".

  • Gran means importante (important), notable (notable), noble (courteous,kind).
  • Grande is the size of something
August 8, 2014


Me: I'd like an elephant, please. I'd prefer a big one, but I might be interested in a little one, as long as it's grand. Elephant salesman: I'll see what i can do.

February 26, 2014


That's a big request.

February 11, 2014


I mean...I can settle for a small elephant too.

April 2, 2015


Don't we all

June 9, 2015


What is the difference between gran and grande?

January 24, 2013


From what I can tell, they are the same. It just depends on whether you place the adjective before the noun (gran) or after (grande).

January 26, 2013


I'm glad duolingo is teaching us sentences that we'll use a lot in our daily lives.

May 20, 2014


Well then I guess it's you lucky day, we just ran out of small ones...

November 12, 2014


so spoiled

May 27, 2015


after the father one i was expecting this to be translated as "i want a great elephant"

January 22, 2013


None of those little sorry elephants for me, thanks. :p

February 26, 2014


Yes... i want a BIG elephant so... I CAN TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!!!! evil cackle Yes i am crazy.

July 30, 2016


Spoiled kid. Lol. (Shaking head right now)

May 6, 2018


in spanish for things we have masculine and feminine words for instance nino for boy and nina for girl.(-o ending for masculine and -a ending for feminine) than y not for animals. elefanto and elefanta . its somewhat tricky for me, please somebody explain.

August 26, 2014


Kids these days have upgraded to wanting elephants. Ponies have become old school

April 8, 2016


I thought adjectives go after nouns? Can someone please shed some light on me? I've been speaking Spanish since I was 10. I am 14 now. This is the first time i've ever come across an adjective before a noun... does anyone want to clear up my confusion? That would be much appreciated! Thank you guys!!

August 20, 2016


Can someone please tell me why this adjective goes before the noun and not after.

August 25, 2016


Where would i keep a big elephant? Under my bed??

August 31, 2016


Would it also be correct to put the adjective after the noun and say " Quiero un elefante grande"

January 4, 2017


( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)huehuehuehue

June 6, 2017


We all want a giant elephant, mijo.

May 23, 2018


Why not:"I love a big elephant"?

September 21, 2018
Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.