Site Feedback

Resolved questions
Order of Adjectives

I'm a little confused on the order of adjectives compared to their noun. I thought the adjective follows the noun, but have seen it before the noun in some examples. Can someone please explain?

Per esempio:

"Loro sono una strana coppia."

"Loro sono una coppia perfetta."

For learning: Italian
Base language: English
Category: Language



    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.



    Sort by:


    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting
    The rule is that USUALLY (not always) this is the order:
    noun adjective

    As in every language when you change the usual order (and our syntax allows you to do this quite often), you are doing one of:
    a) add emphasis
    b) change the meaning in a predefined way
    c) both of the above

    /strana coppia/ is always used in this pattern, there is no rule behind this, only practice, probably it originated from the title of a movie.

    But you can say /un coppia un po` strana/ for instance.
    In any case /coppia strana/ or /strana coppia/ does not imply WHY they are strange, so it does not say much out of a context.

    instance of (b) :

    1a) Paolo e`un ragazzo bravo.
    1b) Paolo e`un ragazzo bravo in matematica
    2a) Paolo e`un bravo ragazzo.
    2b) Paolo e`un bravo ragazzo in matematica

    The only meaningful possibilities are (1b) and (2a).
    (1b) means /Paolo is clever in math.
    (2a) means /paolo is a GOOD boy (moral meaning, not cleverness!)./
    (2b) has no meaning!
    (2a) is too vast; the listener would ask himself: at school? at sports?, in everything? is this possible?

    Every adjective that has this possibility offers a different meaning that is CODED in our language, so there is no shortcut in this.


    Submit your answer

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

    If you copy this answer from another italki answer page, please state the URL of where you got your answer from.