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There is a German song with a title "So ein Tag" (Such a Day).

On the other hand, a native speaker corrected my usage of "solches ein Mädchen" as "ein solches Mädchen", which might translate into "a such maiden," which wouldn't make sense in English.

Why does the "ein" come second in "so ein Tag," but first in "ein solches Mädchen"?

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You can say so ein Mädchen as kind of girl: Sie ist nicht so ein Mädchen, wie du mir gesagt hat. - She ain't the kind of girl you told me. – Em1 Mar 30 '12 at 8:43
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I do not know neither rule nor reference but: so is an adverb or a Gradpartikel in this case while solches is an adjective and as such it has to get the same endings any other adjective would get in that situation.

It is also possible to say:

Solch ein Mädchen...

That sounds nicer and less mundane than the same with so. Generally, case and gender endings do only apply AFTER the article, in a article-noun-situation of course.

Solches ein Mädchen...

is wrong because there is no reason for declination yet. The entity of Mädchen hasn't started and we are case-wise in the void till an article comes. I don't think that there is a way to capture the differences in a translation. I can't think of a semantical difference between so(lch) ein and ein solche/r/n/m/s

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