uso correcto de adjetivos

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Chiquitina, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. Chiquitina

    Chiquitina New Member

    Ecuatorian - Spanish
    Hola!! alguna alma caritativa que me explique el uso correcto de los adjetivos en inglés.. la verdad es que siempre me confundo con palabras como: blue sky o sky blue.. o chicken little o little chicken.. :eek: no se que se pone primero si el pronombre o el adjetivo.. pls una ayudita!!!

    gracias de antemano..
  2. mihabana Senior Member

    Oregon/Washington Border
    Cuba - Espanol
    Mis dos centavos. El adjetivo precede al sustantivo. Blue sky.

    Sky blue
    and chicken little mas bien creo que sean sustantivos, nombres. Sky is blue and chicken is little son adjetivos tambien. Por favor correjirme si me equivoco. Espera mas respuestas.
  3. Txiri

    Txiri Senior Member

    USA English
    Es muy amplia la pregunta ... pero en terminos generales, el adjetivo precede el sustantivo.

    "Sky blue" es un color, celeste.

    "Chicken little" es el nombre de un personaje de un cuento infantil One day Chicken Little was walking in the woods when -- KERPLUNK -- an acorn fell on her head "Oh my goodness!" said Chicken Little. "The sky is falling! I must go and tell the king."
  4. Carlos Zapata Member

    México - Español
    Estoy de acuerdo con Mihabana y Txiri, en general el adjetivo precede al sustantivo ...

  5. JB

    JB Senior Member

    Santa Monica, CA, EEUU
    English (AE)
    Maybe this will help with a general understanding.
    In Spanish the "normal" placement of a descriptive adjective (old, young, new, tall, short, red, blue, strong, weak, etc.) is after the noun. When you switch it out of its normal (usual) place and put it in front, it takes on a special meaning.
    Mi viejo amigo, vs. mi amigo viejo
    Mi nuevo carro vs. mi carro nuevo
    Gran hombre vs. hombre grande.
    Blanca Nieve vs. nieve blanca.

    In English, the "normal" (usual, customary) placement is the opposite--before the noun. When you switch it, and put it after, it takes on a special, at least different meaning.

    Normal: Blue sky, red sky, clear sky, cloudy sky
    Special: Sky blue -- a color, not ordinary blue or marine blue or deep blue, but sky blue. (In this case, "sky", normally a noun, functions like an adjective. Some books with call "sky blue" a "compound noun." My point is not to burden you with "buzz words" (jerga), but to help understand the principle.)

    As others have pointed out
    A little chicken (un pollo chiquito, polluelo, tal vez) vs. Mr. Chicken Little.
    Snow White (Blanca Nieve) vs. white snow. Same explanation as Sky Blue. There is a joke about watching out for the yellow snow. (Think about it, why would snow be yellow?)
    Also, Blood Red (You could say that Red is a noun here, the color, and Blood the descriptive word).

    There is a famous book titled Captains Courageous. Technically, the placement is wrong, but in fact, it gives the book title a special feel, impact, that Courageous Captains (too normal) would not have.

    There was a TV show some years ago about human anatomy and physiology entitled The Body Human. Explanation is same as in previous paragraph.

    A couple of special terms:
    Attorney General. Most Americans would not even realize this as a case of reversed adjective placement. It is just seen as one term a title. The correct plural is Attornies General, but Attorney Generals is common. (En español, creo que es El Fiscal de la nación o estado)

    Court Martial. (Military Court)Same as above. Correct plural: Courts Martial.

    So when you are speaking, you will almost always put the descriptive adjective before the noun: An old man, a beautiful woman, a dumb blonde, you lousy rat, you fucking idiot, etc. But when you see it reversed, it probably fits the pattern above (or else it's a bad translation from another language.) (It just occurs to me, one always says "pinche cabrón" never "cabrón pinche." I guess if you are a cabrón, you are automatically pinche.)

    Hope this helps.
    Cuídate, mi queridita, listita y simpatiquísima hijita. (¿ u "o" ?).

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