"It is the new sofa."
Translation:Es el nuevo sofá.
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)
We have some adjectives that doesn't mean the same when they are before or after the verb.
"Nuevo" is one of those. When it is used after the noum it is the same than "brand new", but when it is used before the noum then it means the "last one".
For example if an antique dealer brings a new sofa to his store. He will say: "el nuevo sofa" and it would be not possible to say "el sofa nuevo", at least it would sound very akward to say that talking about an antique sofa.
What I gather it can come before or after but it changes meaning some what. http://spanish.about.com/od/adjectives/a/adjective_placement.htm
It is not exactly the same. Most of cases it is like you say but we have in Spanish a bunch of adjetives that changes the meaning, and they are not only used fo emphasis. In the precedent link there is a list of them.
In this case:
- nueva silla=another chair
- silla nueva=new chair
Nuevo sofá = NEW sofa ... (from the factory) Sofá nuevo = SOFA (that is) new (to us, it might be second hand)
That is my conclusion after reading the mentioned article. So the first mentioned word gets the emphasis. And can be memorized for translation to English likewise. Sofá nuevo = SOFA (THAT IS) new (to us, but it also might be brand new, not important) .... Nuevo sofá = NEW sofa (brand new, definitely)