An adjective ("adjetivo", in Spanish) is a word that describes, limits of qualifies a noun.
There are two main differences between English and Spanish adjectives: Placement and Agreement between noun and adjective in genre and noun.
In English, the adjective is placed before the noun or after the verb. For example:
The book is blue
The adjective in these examples is: blue.
But the difference is that in Spanish, adjectives are usually placed after the noun they qualify:
Sometimes, the Spanish adjective is placed in front of the noun, but it only happens when using an adjective to express subjectivity (Esta es una buena película - This is a good film) or when the adjective indicates a intrinsic quality of the noun (el azul mar - the blue sea).
Agreement between noun and adjective in genre and noun
Spanish adjectives must agree in number and genre with the noun/s they qualify. When we read the following English examples:
The man is tall
The women are tall
The men are tall
we notice that the adjective (tall) does not change, in English we use the same form for a singular, plural, feminine or masculine noun.
Now, read the same examples, this time in Spanish:
El hombre es alto
Las mujeres son altas
Los hombres son altos
So, from this point, we can affirm that Spanish adjectives have four forms: masculine-singular, feminine-singular; masculine-plural; feminine-plural. This rule applies to Spanish adjectives ending in -o. Here we have more examples:
Una niña guapa
Unos niños guapos
Unas niñas guapas
There are other Spanish adjectives that end in -e: inteligente, grande, importante. These adjectives do not follow the -o ending adjectives rule: in this case, adjectives ending in -e do not change their form in accordance with the genre of the noun they qualify, they just agree in number (singular / plural). This means that all adjectives ending in -e keep the same form for the masculine and feminine genre. Let's see some examples:
Una señora importante
Unos señores importantes
Unas señoras importantes
Finally there is another type of adjectives: Spanish adjectives ending in consonant.
They do not change for masculine or feminine genre. And to form the plural, we have to add -es. More examples:
La prueba final
("prueba" = feminine noun)
Los exámenes finales
Las pruebas finales
For any question or doubt, feel free to e-mail me or just post a message at the forum.
¡Que tenga un buen día!
VOCABULARY IN THIS LESSON (alphabetical order):
alto / alta: tall
azul (m/f): blue
bueno / buena: good
esta (f): this
exámen (m): exam
grande (m/f): big
guapo / guapa: handsome / pretty
hombre (m): man
libro (m): book
mar (m): sea
mujer (f): woman
niño (m): boy
película (f): film
prueba (f): test
señor / señora: man / lady