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THE BEHAVIOR OF THE ADJECTIVE

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The descriptive adjective in Italian can have three different positions in relation to the noun it’s referred to and for this reason it can have three different functions.

These are the positions of the adjective:

  • before the noun (attributive function in this case it specifies a quality of a noun, but without distinguishing it form the others; the attention of the speech is on the noun)

    Example:
    "Sul fiume c' una vecchia casa dove abita mia nonna."

  • after the noun (distinctive function specifies a quality of the noun distinguishing it from the others; the attention of the speech is on the adjective)

    Example:
    "La casa vecchia stava per essere distrutta."

  • far from the noun and together with the verb essere (predicative function specifies a standard quality)

    Example:
    "Questa casa vecchia"

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