Short-Form Adjectives

Adjetivos apocopados

There are several Spanish adjectives that have a shortened form when they precede certain nouns.

I. The most common shortened adjectives are those that drop the final -o in front of a masculine singular noun.

normal shortened   meaning
alguno algún   some
bueno buen   good
malo mal   bad
ninguno ningún   no, none
postrero postrer   last, final
primero primer   first
tercero tercer   third
uno un   one, a

Note that algún and ningún require the addition of an accent in order to maintain the proper word stress.

II. The adjective Santo is shortened to San when it precedes most masculine saints’ names.

  • San Diego
  • San José
  • San Juan
  • San Luís
  • San Miguel
  • San Tobías

Exceptions

  • Santo Domingo
  • Santo Tomás
  • Santo Toribio

III. There are two adjectives which are shortened before a noun of either gender:

grande gran   big
cualquiera cualquier   any

IV. Ciento is shortened to cien when it precedes a plural noun of either gender or when it multiplies a number.

cien euros   100 euros
cien mil   100,000

But not when it’s part of a longer number.

ciento veinte   120
ciento cuarenta y cinco   145

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