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Grammar, spelling, and usage

Italian Adjective Order
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In general Italian adjectives follow the noun:

È una lingua difficile. (It is a difficult language.)
Marina è una ragazza generosa. (Marina is a generous girl.)

Certain common adjectives, however, generally come before the noun:

Anna è una cara amica. (Anna is a dear friend.)
Gino è un bravo dottore. (Gino is a good doctor.)
È un brutt'affare. (It's a bad situation.)

The most common adjectives that come before the noun are listed in the table below.

ITALIAN ADJECTIVES THAT PRECEDE NOUNS
bellobeautiful
bravogood, able
bruttougly
buonogood
carodear
cattivobad
giovaneyoung
grandelarge; great
lungolong
nuovonew
piccolosmall, little
stessosame
vecchioold
verotrue

But even these adjectives must follow the noun for emphasis or contrast, and when modified by an adverb:

Oggi non porta l'abito vecchio, porta un abito nuovo. (Today he is not wearing the old suit, he is wearing a new suit.)
Abitano in una casa molto piccola. (They live in a very small house.)


Italian Language Study Resources
Language Lessons: Italian grammar, spelling, and usage.
Audio Phrasebook: Improve your pronunciation and build your vocabulary.
Workbook Exercises: Worksheets, drills, activities, and review.
Buon Divertimento: Italian jokes, riddles, and puns.
Italian Verbs: Formation, moods, tenses, and table of conjugations.
Study Guides: Challenge your skills and test your knowledge of various topics.
Audio Lab: Word of the day, survival phrases, ABC's, numbers, and conversation.

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