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Bien, Buen, Bueno, Buena

 

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  #1  
Old October 29, 2007, 10:18 AM
bleitzow bleitzow is offline
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Question Bien, Buen, Bueno, Buena

OK, another question. Am I annoying you guys yet? I hope not.

I understand the masculine and feminine forms of Spanish. I am confused as to when to use bien, buen, or bueno in a sentence. I think it has something to do with where in the sentence you use the word.

I am the one that doesn't understand the "imperfect, subjective" stuff. Real life examples are best for me to understand.

Do these rules also apply to mal, malo and mala?

Thanks,
Brenda
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  #2  
Old October 30, 2007, 10:11 AM
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Question Bien, Buen, Bueno, Buena

OK, I found a thread on shortening the words before a masculine noun. That helped. Is there a rule as to whether you put the word in front or behind the noun?

Thanks!
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  #3  
Old October 31, 2007, 08:55 AM
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Hi Brenda,

There's several questions here. First:

Bien is an adverb meaning "well". Being an adverb it generally goes near verbs.
Lo hiciste bien. You did it well.
Corriste bien. You ran well.
Hablaste bien. You spoke well.
Now let's look at buen, bueno, buena & mal, malo, mala. These are adjectives, they modify nouns, and they go next to nouns. The feminine versions are used with feminine nouns:
Fue una mala experiencia - It was a bad experience.
Saque una buena calificación en este examen - I got a good grade on this test.
buen, bueno, mal, & malo are used with masculine nouns. buen & mal are used before the noun, and bueno & malo are used after the noun.
Tienes un buen acento. You have a good accent.
Tienes un mal hábito. You have a bad habit.
Ese es un hombre bueno. Ese es un buen hombre. That's a good man.

As for when you should use the adjective before or after the noun, it's rather difficult to explain.

1. Adjectives generally go after the noun.
2. When following the noun, adjectives generally have a more literal meaning, and the differentiate between more than one item with different qualities: el agua fría, el agua caliente.
3. When coming before a noun, an adjective generally takes on a more figurative, poetic, or literary sense.

Examples:
Ese buen hombre me ayudó. That good man helped me.
Ese hombre bueno me ayudó. That man who is good (as opposed to all the bad men) helped me.

Te presento mi amada esposa. Let me introduce my dear wife.
Te presento mi esposa amada. Meet my wife, the one I love (as opposed to my other wives, who I don't love as much.)

There are also other adjectives that have different meanings when used before/after nouns.

antiguo - former
Mi antiguo trabajo. My former job.
Mi antiguo jefe. My former boss.

antiguo - ancient, antique
Las ruinas antiguas. The ancient ruins.
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Old October 31, 2007, 09:08 AM
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Here are a couple other threads that might help.

http://forums.tomisimo.org/showthread.php?t=723
http://forums.tomisimo.org/showthread.php?t=597
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Old October 31, 2007, 03:11 PM
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Thumbs up Bien, Buen, Bueno, Buena

Wow David!

Thank you so much for that explanation. You put a lot of work into it. Your time was well spent. I understood it.

Thank you!
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Old November 01, 2007, 12:29 PM
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You're welcome. Glad to help.
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