Adjective Position

Posición del adjetivo

Spanish adjectives
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Spanish adjectives may be found before or after the nouns they modify, depending on various factors. Generally speaking, descriptive adjectives follow nouns, while limiting adjectives precede nouns.

I. Descriptive adjectives distinguish between different nouns of the same type and usually* follow the nouns they modify.

Por ejemplo…

el libro verde   the green book
el libro rojo   the red book

Notes

A. Two descriptive adjectives modifying the same noun may

1) be joined by y.
  la flor roja y bonita   the beautiful red flower
  el libro emocionante e interesante   the thrilling and interesting book
2) surround the noun, with the shorter or less important adjective preceding the noun.
  el joven inmigrante marroquí   the young Moroccan immigrant
  un típico restaurante turístico   a typical tourist restaurant

B. A descriptive adjective indicating an inherent quality of a noun may precede it.*

la blanca nieve   the white snow
los altos picos   the tall peaks

C. A descriptive adjective expressing subjectivity precedes the noun.*

el mejor restaurante   the best restaurant
Es una mala idea.   It’s a bad idea.

II. Limiting adjectives specify which nouns are under discussion and usually precede the nouns they modify.

Por ejemplo…

este libro   this book
ese libro   that book

Types of limiting adjectives

 Exceptions

A. The long forms of possessive adjectives always follow the nouns they modify.
  un amigo mío   a friend of mine
  el libro tuyo   your book
B. Ordinal numbers may follow the noun in order to emphasize it.
  la casa segunda   the second house
  las fiestas primeras   the first parties

 Related lessons

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Adjetivos - Spanish adjectives