If you’re learning Spanish and you’re trying to enlarge your vocabulary, you’ll find this article very useful.
In it, we’ll plunge into the world of adjectives in Spanish so that you can start to define and describe people, objects, and situations appropriately in Spanish.
Spring Languages (a platform I’m a co-founder) already did a great video on 1 of the 4 most difficult challenges in the Spanish language. So, let’s take it as a challenge!
What Is An Adjective?
Adjectives are words that tell us something about nouns. They describe qualities, properties or relations of the nouns they modify. We use adjectives to name different characteristics of objects, people, places, and even situations.
Let’s see some examples:
- “Mi casa es grande y bonita”. → “My house is large and beautiful.” (descriptive adjectives)
- “Este es mi libro.” → “This is my book.” (possessive adjective)
- “Esta es mi casa”. → “This is my house.” (demonstrative adjective)
Unlock the power of the Spanish language with this vibrant table of commonly used Spanish adjectives and their captivating English translations.
Common Spanish Adjectives
|Spanish Adjective||English Translation||Spanish Examples|
|alto||tall||Él es muy alto. (He is very tall)|
|bajo||short||Ella es baja. (She is short)|
|viejo||old||Mi abuelo es viejo. (My grandfather is old)|
|joven||young||Ella es joven y talentosa. (She is young and talented)|
|bueno||good||Este libro es muy bueno .(This book is very good)|
|malo||bad||El clima está malo hoy. (The weather is bad today)|
|grande||big||Tiene una casa grande. (He has a big house)|
|pequeño||small||Mi perro es pequeño. (My dog is small)|
|rápido||fast||El coche va rápido. (The car is going fast)|
|lento||slow||El tráfico está lento. (The traffic is slow)|
|hermoso||beautiful||Ella tiene una voz hermosa. (She has a beautiful voice)|
|feo||ugly||El edificio es feo. (The building is ugly)|
|inteligente||intelligent||Mi hermana es muy inteligente. (My sister is very intelligent)|
|tonto||silly||Ese chiste es muy tonto. (That joke is very silly)|
|interesante||interesting||La película fue muy interesante. (The movie was very interesting)|
1. Types Of Adjectives In Spanish
As a general rule, Spanish adjectives agree in gender and number with the noun that they’re modifying.
Most masculine nouns and adjectives in Spanish end in -o, and most feminine ones end in -a, but there are exceptions.
Spanish Adjectives agree in gender and number with the noun they’re modifying
|Alto (Masc. sing.)|
|El niño es alto.||The boy is tall.|
|Alto (Masc. pl.)|
|Los niños son altos.||The boys are tall.|
|Alto (Fem. sing.)|
|La niña es alta.||The girl is tall.|
|Alto (Fem. pl.)|
|Las niñas son altas.||The girls are tall.|
Notice that the common placement of Spanish adjectives is right after the noun they’re modifying, instead of in front of it.
- “Me gustan los días cálidos”. → I like hot days.
- “El perro marrón es mío”. → The brown dog is mine.
Yet again, there are exceptions!
- “Hoy es un gran día”. → Today is a great day.
There are different types of Spanish adjectives, depending on the type of quality or relation of the noun they describe:
- possessive adjectives indicate who owns the object;
- demonstrative adjectives indicate how far from the speaker the object is;
- descriptive adjectives name the object’s qualities.
2. Possessive Spanish Adjectives
Spanish possessive adjectives state possession, and are located right in front of the noun.
They must always agree in number with the object possessed.
The possessive adjectives nuestro, nuestra, vuestro, and vuestra must also agree in gender.
Possessive adjectives chart in Spanish
|Mi||My||Mi casa. (My house.)|
Mis perros. (My dogs.)
|Tu||Your||Tu esposa. (Your wife.)|
Tus hijos. (Your children.)
|El pelo de María. Su pelo.|
(María’s hair. Her hair.)
Los ojos de Juan. Sus ojos.
(Juan’s eyes. His eyes.)
|Nuestro||Our||Nuestro sobrino. (Our nephew.)|
Nuestras sobrinas. (Our nieces.)
|Vuestro (Spain)||Your||Vuestra foto. (Your picture.)|
Vuestros lápices. (Your pencils.)
|Su (LatAm)||Your||Su foto. (Your photo.)|
Sus lápices. (Your pencils.)
|Su||Their||El perro de mis padres. Su perro.|
(My parents’ dog. Their dog.)
Los amigos de mis padres. Sus amigos.
(My parents’ friends. Their friends.)
3. Demonstrative Adjectives In Spanish
Based on how far away something is from the person speaking, there are three demonstrative adjectives that can be used to point it out. Each adjective also has versions for when the thing being pointed at is feminine or plural.
As every adjective in Spanish, demonstrative adjectives must agree in gender and number with the noun.
Close to the speaker
|Este teléfono de aquí.|
(This telephone here.)
More or less close to the speaker
|Ese carro de allí.|
(That car there.)
|Allá (over there)|
Far from the speaker
|Aquel libro de allá.|
(That book over there.)
Demonstrative Pronouns In Spanish
Demonstrative pronouns in Spanish do not modify nouns, but rather replace them.
They also need to agree in gender and number with the noun that they stand for.
Jorge: Ese lápiz es mío.
(That pencil is mine.) – demonstrative adjective, masculine, singular.
Benjamin: ¿Cuál? ¿Este?
(Which one? This one?) – demonstrative pronoun, masculine, singular.
Jorge: No, aquel de allá.
(No, that one over there.) – demonstrative pronoun, masculine, singular.
4. Descriptive Adjectives In Spanish
Descriptive Spanish adjectives refer to the qualities of a noun, be them physical traits like size, height, and color, or to abstract or mental characteristics.
So, we can use them to describe:
As usual, descriptive adjectives agree with the noun in gender and number.
Let’s see some examples:
- ESTAR + ADJECTIVE: expresses a temporary quality
- La luna está muy redonda esta noche. – (The moon is really round tonight.)
- La noche estaba muy fría. – (The night was very cold.)
- SER + ADJECTIVE: expresses a characteristic that is considered permanent.
- El agua de mar es salada. – (Seawater is salty.)
- La nieve es blanca y fría. – (Snow is white and cold.)
Adjectives to describe a person in Spanish are descriptive. They are used to describe people’s physical traits and personality.
Common descriptive adjectives in Spanish
|Alto – bajo||Tall – short||Yo soy alto, pero mi hermana es baja.|
(I’m tall, but my sister is short.)
|Gordo – delgado||Fat – thin||Mi padre es gordo y mi madre es delgada.|
(My father is fat, and my mother is thin.)
|Inteligente – ignorante||Intelligent – ignorant||Las personas inteligentes ayudan a las ignorantes.|
(Intelligent people help ignorant people.)
|Guapo – feo||Handsome – ugly||Mi novio es muy guapo.|
(My boyfriend is very handsome.)
|Educado – grosero||Well-mannered|
|Mis alumnos son muy educados.|
(My students are very well-mannered.)
|Ordenado – desordenado||Tidy – untidy||Mi hermana es un poco desordenada.|
(My sister is a bit untidy.)
If you want to learn Spanish adjectives faster and more naturally, you should try using lexical chunks.
Chunks are groups of words that often go together, such as “un buen amigo” (a good friend) or “una casa bonita” (a beautiful house).
By learning these chunks, you can memorize adjectives in context and use them more fluently. Lexical chunks also help you avoid common mistakes, such as using the wrong gender or number agreement.
Descriptive adjectives in Spanish are a great source of chunks and you can check out the following video to learn more essential chunks to describe people!
5. Practice Section – Fill In The Blanks With Common Adjectives In Spanish
I. Write the opposite of each adjective in Spanish. For example: grande – pequeño.
Do you want to master Spanish adjectives and impress your friends and teachers with your descriptive skills?
If so, you need to practice them with a variety of exercises and activities.
hat’s why we have created a Full Practice Worksheet for Spanish adjectives that you can download for free.
This worksheet will help you review the most common adjectives in Spanish, learn how to use them correctly in sentences, and expand your vocabulary! Click the button below and download it now!
6. Master Adjectives In Spanish With The Spanish Chunking Starter Pack
Mastering the most common Spanish adjectives is crucial for effective communication in the language.
By understanding the types of adjectives, rules of usage, and common mistakes to avoid, learners can express themselves more accurately and fluently.
If you want more tips on how to effectively learn Spanish, make to get your free Spanish Chunking Starter Pack, where I show you a 4-step method to learn this beautiful language without having to memorize word lists and grammar rules.