"It is the new sofa."
Translation:Es el nuevo sofá.
Shouldn't it be "Es el sofá nuevo." since NEW is the adjective for SOFA?
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)
Caiser, thanks for the subtlety. In this sentence however, what is the "give away" that the sofa is the latter and not the former? Maybe there's a context that I'm not considering?
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.
So sofá nuevo is a more literal "just manufactured" new while nuevo sofá is a more figurative "we just got this" new?
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
The meaing is the same, the difference is what you want to enphasize, the quality or the object. Is it more important to be new or to be a sofa?
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
As the link says 'These meanings aren't always hard and fast and can depend to a certain extent on context.' The change of meaing depends more on the context. There are very few adjectives that change meaning.
Even in the link there are example that can mean the same.
Sofá is borrowed from a foreign language and words in this situation are generally deemed masculine no matter as to their a endings.
It's another exception of the masculine/feminine rule. "Sofa" is considered masculine.
How do you know from the english sentence whether it means brand new or new to the person?
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)