Why do some adjectives precede the nouns in Spanish sentances while others follow it ?*
Who do some adjectives precede the noun in Spanish sentances while most seem to follow it ?
I am learning more or less through observation (of good written examples of Spanish) and intuition when to place the adjective before or after but what are the guiding rules, please?
Actually, the placement of certain adjectives can change the meaning of the word.
Madrid es una gran ciudad. Madrid is a great city.
Madrid es una ciudad grande. Madrid is a huge city.
José es mi viejo amigo. José is an old (of long-standing) friend of mine.
José is mi amigo viejo. José is my old (in years) friend.
A few more:
un nuevo carro - a (brand) new car
un carro nuevo - a new (different, other)
un hombre pobre - a poor man (with no money)
un pobre hombre - a poor (unfortunate, wretched) man
Also, following the noun, the adjective seems to be stronger.
Frequently asked question. I suggest that you search previous posts like this one:
How to position adjectives in Spanish
We also have a Reference Article on the placement of adjectives.