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Adjective / Adjectivos

 

An adjective is word that attributes a quality or characteristic for a noun modifying it.

 

Compare:

  • El coche – the car  / El coche pequeño. (Observe that the word “pequeño” – small – modifies the noun “coche” – car. Being “pequeño” is a characteristic of the car.

 

  • La casa – the house /  La casa sucia (Observe that the word “sucia” – dirty – modifies the noun “casa” – house. Being “dirty” is a quality of the house.)

The adjective may attribute a concrete or abstract quality to the noun, may qualify the noun or indicate quantity.

Compare:

  • La lección fácil – The easy lesson. (Observe that the word “fácil” – easy – modifies the noun “lección” – lesson. Being “fácil” is an abstract quality of the house)
  • La casa blanca– the white house. (Observe that the word “blanca” – white – modifies the noun “casa” – house. Being “white” is a concrete quality of the house.
  • Pocas plumas – few pens. (Observe that the word “pocas” – few – quantifies the noun “plumas” – pens)

Masculine / Feminine / Neutral Adjectives

The adjective may have the same termination when it refers to masculine and feminine words. Observe in the examples below that the adjective remains unchanged even when it refers to a feminine word.

Examples:

  • El hombre fuerte – The strong man
  • La mujer fuerte – The strong woman

Usually adjectives ending in “e” and “ista” have just one termination for both genders.

 More examples:

  • El niño inteligente – The intelligent boy
  • La niña inteligente – The intelligent girl

 

  • El profesor idealista – The idealist teacher
  • La profesora idealista – The idealist teacher.

The adjective may have different terminations according to each gender. Adjectives ending in “o” are masculine or neutral. To compose the feminine form of adjectives ending in “o” just change the “o” for the letter “a”

Examples:

  • El niño alto – The tall boy
  • La niña alta – The tall girl

Singular / Plural Adjectives

The adjective agrees in number with the noun. See the examples below:

Compare:

  • El  niño inteligente – the intelligent boy
  • Los niños inteligentes – the intelligent boys.

 

  • La mesa grande – The big table.
  • Las mesas grandes – the big tables.

 

The position of the adjective in a sentence

Usually in Spanish the adjective follows the noun.

Examples:

  • La mujer bonita – The beautiful woman
  • El coche viejo – The old car
  • El pájaro amarillo – The yellow bird

But in some cases the adjective may precede the noun. For these cases the adjective is more emphatic and may attribute a metaphoric quality to the noun. Sometimes adjectives that precede the noun have different meanings from adjectives that follow the noun.

Compare:

  • Una vieja amiga – a longtime friend.
  • Una amiga vieja – an old friend.

 

  • La pobre mujer – the unfortunate woman
  • La mujer pobre – the poor woman

Some examples of adjectives in Spanish

 If you want to listen to the pronunciation of the adjectives below and know more adjectives, go to the vocabulary section of the website.

 

Adjective

Translation

Alto(a)

Tall

Bajo(a)

Low

Bueno(a)

Good

Caliente

Hot

Cansado(a)

Tired

Corto(a)

Short

Débil

Weak

Delgado(a)

Thin

Fácil

Easy

Feo(a)

Ugly

Frio(a)

Cold

Fuerte

Strong

Grande

Big

Hermoso(a)

Beautiful

Honesto(a)

Honest

Inteligente

Intelligent

Largo(a)

Long

Loco(a)

Crazy

Nuevo(a)

new

Pequeño(a)

Small

Pobre

Poor

Responsable

Responsible

Rico(a)

Rich

Sabroso(a)

Delicious

Triste

Sad

Viejo(a)

Old