Worded Backwards: ?casa blanca o pollo loco?

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I just asking, I may of not got far enough in the lessons yet, since I'm only on 1.10 but I was wondering how can you tell when to word something backwards like "casa blanca o pollo loco'" because if you translate word to word it comes out "House white and chicken crazy, but they mean white house, and crazy chicken" but anyway how can you tell when to word them backwards?

Gracias for any answer.

3564 views
updated JUN 21, 2009
posted by eric_collins

2 Answers

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Eric, I hope you understood this explanation. grin

So you are already on lesson 1.10? Way to go wink

I am happy to see that you grade your level intermediate, I really mean that, as only being positive about this can you learn something. I think you are being slightly overoptimistic, jeje, however I believe this positive attitude is very important.

updated JUN 21, 2009
posted by 00494d19
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Eric, this is not a new topic, and I would be surprised if there isn't a an explanation in the reference section of this page. The typical position of an adjective (i.e. blanca, loco) in Spanish is after the noun (i.e. casa, pollo); exactly the opposite of English. However, Spanish requires that some adjectives appear before the noun. In any case, they don't mean the same.

Adjectives before the noun give some extra information about the noun. Adjectives after the noun restricts the meaning of the noun. Look at the example:

Invitaron a los educados niños. (this sounds like a poem, if not a bit strange)
Invitaron a los niños educados.

Both sentences appear to be the same (They invited the polite children). However, in the first one, they invited (all) the children, and these children happened to be polite, so there is no restriction. In the second sentence, only the polite children were invited (the ones who were not polite were not invited), so there is a restriction.

updated JUN 20, 2009
posted by lazarus1907