Adjectives

Spanish adjectives
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Adjetivos

One of the eight parts of speech, adjectives are a type of modifier; that is, they modify or describe nouns in a certain way, letting you know the size, shape, weight, color, nationality, or any of a myriad other possible qualities of nouns.

Adjectives serve the same purpose in Spanish and English, but they are very different in other respects.

Characteristics of Spanish Adjectives

  1. Modify nouns
  2. Must agree in gender and number with nouns
  3. Usually follow nouns
  4. May be modified by adverbs

Gender and Number of Spanish Adjectives

English adjectives have a single form, but Spanish adjectives can have up to 4 forms, according to the gender and number of the nouns they modify:

masculine singular   masculine plural
feminine singular   feminine plural

If you’ve already studied the noun lesson, some of these rules will look familiar.

1) Masculine singular is the default form and usually ends in -o. This changes to -a for feminine singular. For plural, add -s.

Por ejemplo…

rojo (red)

rojo   rojos
roja   rojas

2) When the masculine adjective ends in -a or -e, there is no difference between the masculine and feminine forms. The plural is still created by adding -s.

realista (realistic)

realista   realistas
realista   realistas

triste (sad)

triste   tristes
triste   tristes

3) When the adjective ends in any consonant except -n, -r, or -z, there is no difference between the masculine and feminine forms, and the plural is created by adding -es.

fácil (easy)

fácil   fáciles
fácil   fáciles

4) When the adjective ends in z, there is no difference between the masculine and feminine forms, and the plural is created by changing the z to a c and adding -es. (Why?)

feliz (happy)

feliz   felices
feliz   felices

5) For adjectives that end in -n or -r,* the feminine is created by adding -a, the masculine plural by adding -es and the feminine plural by adding -as.

hablador (talkative)

hablador   habladores
habladora   habladoras

* Except for peor and mejor, which follow rule 3, above.

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Adjetivos - Spanish adjectives