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Old 24th April 2009, 12:21 AM   #1
duncan_m
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Default Buen.. something special about it?

Is there something special about the word "Buen" and how its positioned in a sentence?

It seems like an adjective.. "Its a good car", just like White is an adjective that describes the colour of the car.. "Its a white car"..

Yet Pimsleur seems to vary on how these two adjectives are placed.. eg

Es un buen coche.
Es un coche blanco.

Are the two Spanish sentences above grammatically correct?

If they are correct.. are there other adjectives or situations where the adjective comes before the noun they are describing?

Thanks!

Dunc.
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Old 24th April 2009, 12:39 AM   #2
Kralizec
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Both are correct.
Buen must be before the noun, and bueno after it. Same with gran/grande and a few others.
-Es un buen coche. Es un gran coche.
-Es un coche bueno. Es un coche grande.

Buen and bueno are roughly the same (they just "feel" slightly different), while gran and grande are more differentiated (gran ~= great, grande ~= big).
Buen is only used when it's sitting right next to the noun, and bueno otherwise.
"You're good. You're a good guy"-> Eres bueno. Eres un buen chico.
*Eres buen
would be incorrect, and eres un chico bueno, while perfectly correct, sounds a bit weird.

Last edited by Kralizec; 24th April 2009 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 24th April 2009, 12:45 AM   #3
duncan_m
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Awesome reply.. thanks for taking the time to do that!

Duncan.
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Old 24th April 2009, 08:12 PM   #4
gastephen
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In case you are interested, it's called apócope (apocope)when the word is shortened in this way. A few other examples of changes occurring before a masculine noun:
ninguno > ningún

alguno > algún

primero > primer

tercero > tercer
Before any noun:
cualquiera > cualquier
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Old 25th April 2009, 01:32 AM   #5
duncan_m
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HI Graham,

Thanks for the additional info.

It occurs to me that Buen and Gran are actually quite significant adjectives.. The colour, style, etc are quite minor adjectives..

Perhaps this explains their promotion to the front of the noun? If so I dub them "Super Adjectives!"

Dunc.
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Old 25th April 2009, 09:37 AM   #6
gastephen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duncan_m View Post
HI Graham,

Thanks for the additional info.

It occurs to me that Buen and Gran are actually quite significant adjectives.. The colour, style, etc are quite minor adjectives..

Perhaps this explains their promotion to the front of the noun? If so I dub them "Super Adjectives!"

Dunc.
I think it is to do with the fact that they are being used subjectively, i.e. to express an opinion. Colours and so on define objective characteristics and can serve to qualify the object you are talking about.

If, for example there are several cars and you say el coche verde, then verde is being used to narrow the scope of the class of objects you are talking about.

When an adjective is non-restrictive, that is to say it is not narrowing the scope, then it can appear in front of the noun, e.g adjectives that only give further information about the object by describing essential characteristics - I think the classic example of this is la blanca nieva, where blanca is not really restricting the scope and in a way is redundant.

Coming back to expressing an opinion (such as saying something was great, fantastic, brilliant, terrible, and so on), placing the adjective before the noun can be used to add emphasis: e.g. un maravilloso día, un cordial saludo,...

Quantifiers (such as numbers) always come before the noun -

la tercera edad
dos coches
un día
algún libro
ninguna mesa
...
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Old 26th April 2009, 01:03 AM   #7
duncan_m
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Graham,

Muchos gracias por ayudarme. Usted es un buen Maestro.

Dunc.
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