In Italian normally adjectives come after the noun; hence "Anna gentile" and "professore gentile". But if the use is a special one, as with a book title, would it normally be reversed, so to say, giving "Gentile Anna - Gentile Professore"?

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    I wouldn't even say “normally”: for Italian adjective to come after nouns, it is a vague tendency, more often than not to be violated. Think buon giorno, una bella giornata, un forte mal di testa, sette colli, una vecchia storia, not to mention cases where the position of the adjective changes the meaning of the phrase, such as diverse persone (several people) vs. persone diverse (different people).
    – DaG
    Jan 30, 2015 at 14:08
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    I don't get the meaning of the sentence he heard. A female professore is a professoressa, if Anna is meant to be the professor's name. However, either position of the adjective makes (little :-) ) sense. Jan 30, 2015 at 17:07
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    related question: italian.stackexchange.com/questions/1248/…
    – I.M.
    Jan 30, 2015 at 17:10
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    Hey, what if Anna Gentile were the full name of the professor? gentileanna.unisalento.it She doesn't seem to be "an old professor", though. Jan 30, 2015 at 17:12
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    Oh, now it is clearer. It would more idiomatic ti say something like «Anna, la nostra cara professoressa».
    – DaG
    Jan 30, 2015 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


It depends on the context:

  • If you want specify that they are gentle or kind, say: "Anna è gentile, il professore è gentile".

  • If you are speaking with an important person say "gentile Anna, gentile professore" to open a formal speech.

N.B: "gentile Anna" and "gentile professore" don't mean that Anna and the teacher are gentle or kind, but only that you are speaking in a formal language to them.

  • Mind the fact that, as made clear in the comments by the OP, the “professore” is supposed to be Anna herself.
    – DaG
    Feb 17, 2015 at 19:53

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