October 8, 2020 · ,

Spanish Adjectives

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Spanish Adjectives

An adjective is a word that modifies a noun. In other words, adjectives describe an attribute of a noun, such as green, sour, or scary. Adjectives often distinguish a noun from a group of similar objects.

For example:

  • The red car
  • The blue car
  • The yellow car

Most adjectives in Spanish change form, depending on whether the noun that it is describing is masculine or feminine. Look at the difference below:

  • “el niño alto – the tall boy”
  • “la niña alta – the tall girl

Adjectives also change form based on whether the word modifies a singular or plural noun. Look at the difference between the singular and plurals below:

  • el niño alto
  • los niños altos
  • la niña alta
  • las niñas altas

In Spanish, many common adjectives end in -o. Adjectives that end in -o almost always have four forms. The words below all mean “short”:

  • bajo (masculine singular)
  • baja (femenine singular)
  • bajos (masculine plural)
  • bajas (femenine plural)

The correct form of the adjective depends upon the noun it modifies. Is the noun masculine or feminine? Singular or plural?

SpanishEnglish
el vaso rojored cup
la mochila rojared backpack
los vasos rojosred cups
las mochilas rojasred backpacks

Notice how the endings of the nouns and these adjectives are similar.

  • vaso rojo
  • mochila roja
  • vasos rojos
  • mochilas rojas

Just as we talked about in our lesson about plural nouns, there are certain rules that apply to forming plural adjectives.

In order to form a plural adjective that ends in -e, simply add an -s.

  • la mesa grande
  • las mesas grandes

Adjectives that end in -e do not, however, change form for masculine or feminine but do for singular and plural.

  • la perra inteligente
  • el perro inteligente
  • las gatas inteligentes
  • los gatos inteligentes

Similarly, most adjectives that end in a consonant do change form for singular or plural, but do not change for masculine or feminine. To form the plural, add -es.

  • la chica popular
  • el chico popular
  • las chicas populares
  • los chicos populares

Let’s review.

  • Adjectives that end in -o have four forms: alto, alta, altos, altas
  • Adjectives that end in -e have two forms: inteligente, inteligentes
  • Most adjectives that end in a consonant have two forms: popular, populares (form plural by adding -es)

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