FR: nouveau - place de l'adjectif

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by 2009, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. 2009 New Member

    English - USA
    So, I saw on the cover of Paris Match "il promet une ère nouvelle." And then I started thinking about why. I thought that nouveau would always go in front of the noun. Could you explain why it doesn't in this case? […]

    Moderator note: Multiple threads merged to create this one.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2016
  2. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    It's true that nouveau (like other adjectives that describe "age") generally does precede the noun.... but saying "always" is just too black and white. Putting nouvelle afterwards here, instead of in its usual spot before the noun, was a stylistic choice. It tends to make us think of this "new era" as the beginning, as if it had just been born.... instead of making us think of this "new era" as a continuation from the previous "old era."

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2016
  3. bloomiegirl

    bloomiegirl Senior Member

    New York
    US English
    […] Jann is right: these rules are not black and white.
    -- Sometimes, it depends how a "new term" becomes popularized (e.g., nouvelle cuisine ; art nouveau).
    -- Sometimes, as in this case, it's a matter of style. BTW, if you google French web pages, you will find both "nouvelle ère" (533K hits) and "ère nouvelle" (403K hits)!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2016
  4. Havajietis Senior Member


    J'ai appris beaucoup de mots nouveaux pendant le cours de français.
    J'ai appris beaucoup de nouveaux mots pendant le cours de français.

    Laquelle de ces phrases est correcte?
  5. helenezen Member

    both are correct but don't ask me why...
  6. Havajietis Senior Member

    Est-ce qu'il y a une différence entre elles?
  7. jul2 Member

    Non, il n'y a pas de difference de sens, en tout cas pas ici.
  8. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    C'est ainsi que je vois les différences.
  9. FreddieFirebird Senior Member

    Hello, I am reading a novel that says "j'ai appris ce détail nouveau." I can't figure out why nouveau comes after the noun. I know some adjectives change meaning depending on placement, but this isn't on the list I have. Can someone explain this?
  10. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    The idea is that the "détail" is inherently new. For instance, if I discovered a new trait of some bizarre subatomic particle, that would definitely be a inherently new detail - nobody had ever heard it before. But most of the time, details aren't themselves new - they're just "new to you." (Then they'd be "de nouveaux détails.")

    When adjectives follow the noun, they're considered "literal." So this is a literally, inherently new detail.
  11. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Je ne suis pas d'accord avec cette analyse. Il n'y a pour moi aucune différence de sens ; le sens dépend du contexte et non de la place de l'adjectif.

    Actually, this sentence sounds a bit unusual. Could you please provide the context and explain what "new detail" the speaker is talking about?

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