Spanish Lesson 14: Adjectives ~ Adjetivos

According to Grammarly.comAdjectives are words that describe/ modify the qualities or states of being of nouns, egs. enormous, silly, yellow, fun, fast. They can also describe the quantity of nouns: many, few, millions, eleven.  In English the adjectives are usually easy to spot because they come immediately before the nouns they modify.

Examples:

The enormous structure was erected in 2001.

The silly clown tripped over the banana peel.

In Spanish, however, the rules are very different.  Adjetivos are also used to describe nouns in Spanish BUT they are usually placed after the noun and must agree in number and gender.

If you need a recap on how nouns in Spanish carry a gender, check out Lesson 13.

 

Gender Agreement

Adjectives often end in an ‘o’ when agreeing with a masculine noun and end in an ‘a’ when agreeing with a feminine noun.  Look at the below examples:

alto

 

Pedro es alto

Pedro is tall

 

 

 

bajo

 

Marco es bajo

Marco is short

 

 

alta

 

Nicola es alta

Nicola is tall

 

 

 

baja

 

Maria es baja

Maria is short

 

 

Adjectives that end in an ‘e’ or a consonant remain the same whether referring to a masculine or feminine noun.  Look at the below examples.

casa grande

 

 

La casa grande

The big house

 

 

 

amario grande

 

 

El armario grande

The big cupboard

 

 

 

 

examen facil

 

Es un examen fácil

It is an easy test

 

 

 

person wearing blue denim jacket while walking on foggy road
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Es una caminata fácil

It is an easy hike

 

 

 

Number Agreement

If a noun is singular then the adjective describing it must be singular.  If the noun is plural then the adjective describing it must be plural too.

If the adjective ends in a vowel, add an ‘s’ to make it plural.

e.g. bajo becomes bajos

If the adjective ends in a consonant, add ‘es’ to make it plural.

e.g. fácil becomes fáciles

 

4 Words to say the same thing!

In English we have one word to say pretty but in Spanish, there are four different words that can be used!

Pretty Singular Plural
Masculine bonito bonitos
Feminine bonita bonitas

You have to follow the agreement rules to decide which one best suits the noun you are describing.

The pretty hat El sombrero bonito
The pretty hats Los sombreros bonitos
The pretty flower La flor bonita
The pretty flowers Las flores bonitas

 

Te Toca: Your Turn

Using this list of adjectives, decide which version of the adjective best matches the sentences below:

Nice Simpático
Ugly Feo
Unkind Antipático
Excellent Excelente
Innocent Inocente
Difficult Difícil

Don’t forget: adjectives are placed AFTER the noun.

The nice men Los hombres                  .
The ugly mask La mascara                 .
She is an unkind teacher Ella es una profesora               .
Pablo is an excellent singer Pablo es un cantante               .
The babies are innocent Los bebés son                    .
The recipes are difficult Las recetas son                   .
*********Las respuestas: simpáticos, fea, antipática, excelente, inocentes, difíciles***********

 

I hope this lesson helped you to understand how to use adjectives (adjetivos) in Spanish!  In an upcoming lesson we’ll look at how to use adjectives to describe personalities and physical appearances.

 

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I’m a Latin American Studies teacher, teaching Latin American History and Politics and Basic Spanish. I love reading, writing, teaching and travelling. 

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