Adjective Position

Posición del adjetivo

Spanish adjective position
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Spanish adjectives may be found before or after the nouns they modify, depending on various factors. There are two main categories of adjectives: descriptive adjectives, which usually follow nouns, and limiting adjectives, which precede nouns.

1) Descriptive adjectives

Descriptive adjectives are what you think of when someone says "adjective." Also known as qualifying adjectives, they describe a quality of a noun (color, size, shape …), 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.

2) Limiting adjectives

Limiting adjectives belong to the category of terms known as determiners: they specify which nouns are under discussion and always precede them.

Por ejemplo…

mi libro   my book
tu libro   your 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

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Position of Spanish adjectives