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How do you combine a noun phrase with an い-adjective? For example:

red house: 赤い家

house [I] went to last week: 先週に行った家

red house [I] went to last week:

  • 赤い先週に行った家?
  • 赤く先週に行った家?
  • 赤いに先週に行った家?
  • 赤くて先週に行った家?
  • 先週に行った赤い家?

Note in particular that I don't want 赤い to apply to 先週, which might be glossed as "house I went to last red week". It's not clear how to make the distinction here.

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赤い先週に行った家?

The house (I) went to last red week.

赤く先週に行った家?

The house (I) went to last week (but you did it in a red way). <-- Meaning is really weird.

赤いに先週に行った家?

The house (I) went to last week which belongs to red. <-- This has no meaning at all.

赤くて先週に行った家?

The house (I) went to last week and which was red. <-- This kind of works...

先週に行った赤い家?

The red house (I) went to last week. <-- This is what you want. Although I would not use に here. Don't ask me why because I can't tell you, but it sounds really weird.

An い adjective will be put just before the word or group of words it applies to. Just like in English, really.

In this case, if you put it anywhere else than before the word 家, the meaning of the sentence becomes weird.

  • My principal worry with the last option was that separating the 先週に行った from 家 would break the noun clause somehow. After thinking about it somewhat, I feel like the て form option #4 is the most generalizable (to more adjectives and/or noun clauses), although perhaps as you say it may sound a bit weird because the い-adjective is so far from its target. What do you mean about the に? Do you disagree with my 先週に行った in preference to 先週で行った or something? – Mario Carneiro Sep 19 '14 at 5:54
  • What do you think about 漂う無数な埃 vs 無数で漂う埃 vs 無数に漂う埃 (the first is your suggestion, the second is my て form attempt, and the last uses に instead)? In the last one, I am afraid that 無数 is describing 漂う which is what I am trying to avoid. – Mario Carneiro Sep 19 '14 at 5:58
  • Don't use the て form unless you want to combine two adjectives together. The way a Japanese person once explained it to me is that the 赤くての「て」は「そして」の「て」. I hope that helps. With regards to 先週に, I would say 先週行った without the に, but thinking about it, the に is grammatically correct I think. But grammar and practice are two different things ;) – yu_ominae Sep 19 '14 at 5:59
  • @MarioCarneiro I think that you could ask about 先週に versus plain 先週 in a separate question and get a more detailed answer about it. – snailboat Sep 19 '14 at 6:02
  • I don't get it... you are using a な adjective now. The first version appears correct. The use of に here is different from in 先週に where に was a temporal indicator. if you want to know more about に, you should probably start a new question as suggested by @MarioCarneiro. I'm sorry, but I have spent so many years here in japan, that I have forgotten the basic grammatical rules I leaned when I first arrived so can't give you a real explanation. – yu_ominae Sep 19 '14 at 6:07

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