In the first line of dialogue in lesson 5.1 a reference is made to "questo piccolo appartamento," with the adjective piccolo preceding the noun it modifies. Further down we see "un appartamento piccolo," with piccolo placed after the noun. Why the difference?
Positioning of adjectives
November 3, 2010
November 4, 2010
Ciao Jeff, One of the biggest differences between English and Italian is the order of the adjectives and nouns. In English, the order of the words for describing the color of a car for example, is "the white car." In Italian, it's the opposite "the car white," - la macchina bianca. When we talk about size and quality, the description of the noun (the adjective) sometimes comes before it, as in la bella donna and la bella ragazza. Adjectives referring to quantities also come before the noun, as in le tre bottiglie, and le due amiche. Color and nationalities, size and qualities typically come after the noun, as in la macchina bianca, i bambini italiani, il gatto piccolo, il ragazzo intelligente. In both cases, whether the description comes before or after the noun, it always has to agree with gender and plural, just as the adjectives about ownership. But there are some exceptions. Please click on lesson 3.6 for further information. I hope this helps! :)