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"la semana proxima" vs "la proxima reunion"

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Chris Look
Posts: 0
Registered:
Jan 26, 2011
Aug 17, 2018 at 4:16pm

I have finally managed to burn next 'and' 'last' into my memory as "la semana pasada" and "la semana proxima". I normally think of adjectives as following the noun in Spanish so this made sense to me.

But now it seems that proxima and pasada go before the noun as in "la proxima reunion". Google translate also has this order. Is there a grammar rule that I'm missing?

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After posting the above, I just noticed that someone else also asked the same question but it was not answered so I'll leave this question here anyway in hopes that someone can shed some light on it.

Thanks in advance.

Chris

DennisG
Posts: 0
Seattle, WA
United States
Registered:
Jan 26, 2011
Aug 17, 2018 at 5:40pm
Fabrice
Posts: 0
San Diego, CA
United States
Registered:
Sep 17, 2012
Aug 19, 2018 at 1:32pm

Ready to be even more confused? La semana proxima and la proxima semana are both valid constructions. You can place proxima/pasada before a noun for example: La pasada reunión del grupo de trabajo fue un éxito (the last meeting of the working group was a success), or after "En la reunión pasada del grupo de trabajo, resolvimos todos nuestros problemas. (We solved all our problems in the last meeting of the working group). I've seen proxima and pasada used more often before a noun than after, but both are correct. However, when used with "semana", "mes", "año" they are more often used after the noun. Isn't it fun ?

There are also some adjectives that change the meaning of the sentence depending on their location. For example: un hombre pobre (a poor man), un pobre hombre (an unfortunate man).

In general though, opposite to english, the adjective will come after the noun. "Una casa bonita" (a beautiful house), "il perro negro" (the black dog), "un plato picante" (a spicy dish).

A bit more info there: https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/adjective-placement

zac.hilliker
Posts: 0
Registered:
Sep 25, 2016
Aug 20, 2018 at 7:35am

I'm guessing Fluenz chose to change how they teach "next week/month/year" in part to avoid this confusion and because other phrases are more common. "La semana que viene" is what I see and hear more often, and it is what was used when I was in Spain two weeks ago. =)

Próxima after the noun sounds odd to me, just because of the way I learned and the Spanish I have encountered. You can look at the post that Dennis linked to. There are some helpful links and a little explanation, but I would avoid burning set meanings into your memory when it comes to Spanish.

I definitely associate última more with the English word "last" than I do pasada. Consider the phrase pasado mañana. It doesn't mean "last tomorrow" or "last morning." I think the full phrase could be "el día pasado mañana" or "the day past tomorrow" or "the day after tomorrow." So instead of thinking of pasada as "last," I think it makes more sense to think of it as "passed," so la semana pasada, the week that passed, the past week...modified to our most common English phrase, last week.

Not to make it more confusing, but I have also seen "última semana" for "last week," even though última should really only be used if it is the actual last (never occurring again) of a thing, from what I've learned. I also see "la otra semana" used for "next week."

Chris Look
Posts: 0
Registered:
Jan 26, 2011
Aug 20, 2018 at 1:42pm

Thank you Fabrice and Zac. both comments were very useful to me. Gracias!

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