The correct use of adjectives in Spanish

by | Aug 17, 2020 | Learn Spanish

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The correct use of adjectives in Spanish is not that difficult if you remember the essential rules. In this post, Mónica, our virtual Spanish teacher, will show you the “secret” behind the Spanish adjectives.

You should watch Mónicas teaching video first to get an idea about how to use the Spanish adjectives correctly. After the video, you can keep reading the additional explanations and try our ultimate adjective quiz.

Plus, you will find a list of Spanish adjectives in alphabetical order at the end of this post.

Learn Spanish with Mónica: Spanish adjectives

The basic rule of the use of Spanish adjectives

At first, it’s essential always to remember the correct article of the noun the Spanish adjective refers to (el / la / los / las).

Adjectives in Spanish

It’s LA cerveza, that’s because you need to say “La cerveza está rica.” And it’s EL vino, so you need to say “El vino está rico.” And it works with nouns in the plural in the same way. If the noun is in the plural, you add “-os” or “-as” at the end of the Spanish adjective.

By the way: you should remember that if there are masculine AND feminine persons or things, the adjective in Spanish is always masculine. For example:

Mónica y Pedro son muy simpáticos.

Even if Mónica is female and Pedro male, you have to use the masculine form of the Spanish adjective.

Adjectives in Spanish

So in general, it’s pretty easy to remember the following rules for the correct use of adjectives in Spanish:

adjectives in Spanish

The correct position of the adjective in Spanish

As you might have noticed, the adjective in Spanish is almost always following the noun. But sometimes, the meaning of the whole sentence can change if you put the Spanish adjective in front of the noun.

Adjectives in Spanish

“Pedro es un amigo viejo.” In this case, Pedro is an old friend, not a young one, because he’s already 76 years old. If the article comes behind the noun, it specifies it.

Adjectives in Spanish

“Pedro es un viejo amigo.” Here, the meaning of the sentence changes completely. It means that Mónica knows Pedro for a long time (since 20 years). So Pedro is a “good old friend” to Mónica, but the Spanish adjective “viejo” doesn’t really refer to Pedro’s age. He could be 30 years old and you could still say “Pedro es un viejo amigo.” Because they know each other since they were 10 years old.

Exceptions: “Neutral” adjectives in Spanish

Some adjectives in Spanish don’t change their endings according to the noun. In general, all adjectives that end with a consonant don’t change their ending. For example:

Adjectives in Spanish

It’s just “azul” (blue), not “azula” or “azulo.” But in the plural, you would add an “-s,” of course. You would say: “Tengo tres pantalones azules.” (I have three blue trousers.) There’re other exceptions for adjectives in Spanish that don’t change. It would help if you remembered them. Another example is “amable” (nice). All adjectives in Spanish that end with an “-e” doesn’t change in the singular.

Spanish adjectives list

We want to offer you a list of the most common adjectives in Spanish. It would help if you remembered them.

Spanish adjectives starting with a
abiertoabiertaabiertosabiertasOPEN
amableamableamablesabamlesNICE
azulazulazulesazulesBLUE
alegroalegraalegrosalegrasHAPPY
atractivoatractivaatractivosatractivasATTRACTIVE

 

Spanish adjectives starting with b
baratobaratabaratosbaratasINEXPENSIVE
bellobellabellosbellasBEAUTIFUL
blancoblancablancosblancasWHITE
buenobuenabuenosbuenasGOOD
atractivoatractivaatractivosatractivasATTRACTIVE

 

Spanish adjectives starting with c
calientecalientecalientecalienteWARM
cansadocansadacansadoscansadasTIRED
carocaracaroscarasEXPENSIVE
centralcentralcentralcentralCENTRAL
cortocortacortoscortasSHORT

 

Spanish adjectives starting with d
débildébildébilesdébilesWEAK
divinodivinadivinosdivinasDIVINE
desnudodesnudadesnudosdesnudasNUDE
dignodignadignosdignasWORTHY

 

Spanish adjectives starting with e
eleganteeleganteeleganteselegantesELEGANT
enamoradoenamoradaenamoradosenamoradasIN LOVE
enfermoenfermaenfermosenfermasILL
espan?olespan?olaespan?olesespan?olasSPANISH

 

Spanish adjectives starting with f
fa?cilfa?cilfa?cilesfa?cilesEASY
famosofamosafamososfamosasFAMOUS
felizfelizfelizesfelizesHAPPY
france?sfrancesafrancesesfrancesasSPANISH
fri?ofri?afri?osfri?asCOLD
fuertefuertefuertesfuertesSTRONG

 

Spanish adjectives starting with g
generalgeneralgeneralesgeneralesGENRAL
genialgenialgenialesgenialesBRILLIANT
grandegrandegrandesgrandesLARGE
grisgrisgrisesgrisesGREY
guapoguapa
guapos
guapas
HANDSOME

 

Spanish adjectives starting with h
heladoheladaheladosheladasICED
honestohonestahonestoshonestasHONEST
horriblehorriblehorribleshorriblesHORRIBLE

 

Spanish adjectives starting with i
idealidealidealesidealesIDEAL
igualigualigualesigualesEQUAL
importanteimportanteimportantesimportantesIMPORTANT
increi?bleincrei?bleincrei?blesincrei?blesINCREDIBLE
infelizinfelizinfelizesinfelizesUNHAPPY
ingle?single?single?sesingle?sesENGLISH

 

Spanish adjectives starting with l
latinolatinalatinoslatinasLATIN
lentolentalentoslentasSLOW
librelibrelibreslibresFREE
lindolindalindoslindasPRETTY
listolistalistoslistasREADY

 

Spanish adjectives starting with m
machomachosMALE
medianomediana
medianos
medianas
MEDIUM
menor
menormenores
menores
MINOR
modernomoderna
modernos
modernas
MODERN
muchomucha
muchos
muchas
MUCH

 

Spanish adjectives starting with n
nerviosonerviosanerviososnerviosasNERVOUS
ningunoninguna
ningunos
ningunas
NO
nuevo
nuevanuevos
nuevas
NEW

 

Spanish adjectives starting with o
oficialoficialoficialesoficialesOFFICIAL
oscurooscura
oscuros
oscuras
DARK

 

Spanish adjectives starting with p
pasivopasivapasivospasivasPASSIVE
peorpeor
peores
peores
WORSE
pequen?opequen?apequen?ospequen?asLITTLE
perfectoperfectaperfectosperfectasPERFECT
pesadopesadapesadospesadasHEAVY

 

Spanish adjectives starting with q
quemadoquemadaquemadosquemadasBURNED
queridoquerida
queridos
queridas
DEAR

 

Spanish adjectives starting with r
rarorarararosrarasRARE
realreal
reales
reales
REAL
regularregularregularesregularesREGULAR
religiosoreligiosareligiososreligiosasRELIGIOUS
ricoricaricosricasRICH
rojorojarojosrojasRED

 

Spanish adjectives starting with s
segurosegurasegurossegurasSAFE
serioseria
serios
serias
SERIOUS
sincerosincera
sinceros
sinceras
SINCERE
solosola
solos
solas
LONELY
suciosuciasucios
sucias
DIRTY

 

Spanish adjectives starting with t
tempranotempranatempranostempranasEARLY
terribleterrible
terribles
terribles
TERRIBLE
todotoda
todos
todas
ALL
tristetriste
tristes
tristes
SAD
turi?sticoturi?sticaturi?sticos
turi?sticas
TOURIST

 

Spanish adjectives starting with u
u?nicou?nicau?nicosu?nicasONLY
urgenteurgente
urgentes
urgentes
URGENT

 

Spanish adjectives starting with v
va?lidova?lidava?lidosva?lidasVALID
verdeverde
verdes
verdes
GREEN
viejoviejaviejosviejasOLD
vivovivavivosvivasALIVE

 

Spanish adjectives starting with w,x,y,z
xenofóbicoxenofóbicaxenofóbicosxenofóbicasXENOPHOBIC
zurdozurda
zurdos
zurdoas
LEFT-HANDED

 

Spanish adjectives quiz!

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