The correct use of adjectives in Spanish

Aug 17, 2020 | Spanish Grammar

The correct use of adjectives in Spanish

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 and additional exercises at the end of this post.

Learning video: The 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.

Pedro es un viejo amigo

(= Pedro is an old friend of mine. I know him since I was a child.)

Pedro es un amigo viejo.

(=Pedro is a friend who is old.)

“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:

El pantalón azul.

The blue pants.

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

abierto

(open)

abierta abiertos abiertas

amable

(nice)

amable amables amables

azul

(blue)

azul azules azules

alegro

(happy)

alegra alegros alegras

atractivo

(attractive)

atractiva atractivos atractivas

 

Spanish adjectives starting with b

barato

(cheap)

barata baratos baratas

bello

(pretty)

bella bellos bellas

blanco

(white)

blanca blancos blancas

bueno

(good)

buena buenos buenas

atractivo

(attractive)

atractiva atractivos atractivas

 

Spanish adjectives starting with c

caliente

(hot)

caliente caliente caliente

cansado

(tired)

cansada cansados cansadas

caro

(expensive)

cara caros caras

central

(central)

central central central

corto

(short)

corta cortos cortas

 

Spanish adjectives starting with d

débil débil débiles -es WEAK
divino divina -os -as DIVINE
desnudo desnuda -os -as NUDE
digno digna dignos -as WORTHY

 

Spanish adjectives starting with e

elegante elegante -es -es ELEGANT
enamorado -a -os -as IN LOVE
enfermo -a -os -as ILL
español -a -es -as SPANISH

 

Spanish adjectives starting with f

f’ácil fácil fáciles -es EASY
famoso famosa famosos -as FAMOUS
feliz feliz felizes -es HAPPY
francás francesa franceses -as SPANISH
fri?o fri?a fri?os -as COLD
fuerte fuerte fuertes -es STRONG

 

Spanish adjectives starting with g

general general -es -es GENRAL
genial genial -es -es BRILLIANT
grande grande -es -es LARGE
gris gris -es -es GREY
guapo guapa
-os
-as
HANDSOME

 

Spanish adjectives starting with h

helado -a helados -as ICED
honesto -a honestos -as HONEST
horrible = horribles -es HORRIBLE

 

Spanish adjectives starting with i

ideal ideal -es -es
igual igual -es -es
importante importante -s -es
increíble increíble -es -es
infeliz infeliz -es -es
inglés inglés -es -es

 

Spanish adjectives starting with l

latino latina -os -as LATIN
lento lenta -os -as SLOW
libre libre -s -s FREE
lindo linda -os -as PRETTY
listo lista -os -as READY

 

Spanish adjectives starting with m

macho -os MALE
mediano mediana
-os
-as
MEDIUM
menor
menor -es
-es
MINOR
moderno moderna
-os
-as
MODERN
mucho mucha
-os
-as
MUCH

 

Spanish adjectives starting with n

nervioso -a -os -as NERVOUS
ninguno -a
-os
-as
NO
nuevo
-a -os
-as
NEW

 

Spanish adjectives starting with o

oficial oficial -es -es OFFICIAL
oscuro oscura
-os
-as
DARK

 

Spanish adjectives starting with p

pasivo pasiva -os -as PASSIVE
peor peor
-es
-es
WORSE
pequeño -a -os -as LITTLE
perfecto perfecta -os -as PERFECT
pesado pesada -os -as HEAVY

 

Spanish adjectives starting with q

quemado -a -os -as BURNED
querido -a
-os
-as
DEAR

 

Spanish adjectives starting with r

raro rara -os -as RARE
real real
-es
-es
REAL
regular regular -es -es REGULAR
religioso religiosa -os -as RELIGIOUS
rico rica -os -as RICH
rojo roja -os -as RED

 

Spanish adjectives starting with s

seguro segura -os -as SAFE
serio seria
-os
-as
SERIOUS
sincero sincera
-os
-as
SINCERE
solo sola
-os
-as
LONELY
sucio sucia -os
-as
DIRTY

 

Spanish adjectives starting with t

temprano -a -os -as EARLY
terrible =
-es
-es
TERRIBLE
todo -a
-os
-as
ALL
triste =
-es
-es
SAD
turístico -a -os
-as
TOURIST

 

Spanish adjectives starting with u

único única- os- as ONLY
urgente urgente
-es
-es
URGENT

 

Spanish adjectives starting with v

válido válida -os -as VALID
verde verde
-es
-es
GREEN
viejo vieja -os -as OLD
vivo viva -os -as ALIVE

 

Spanish adjectives starting with w,x,y,z

xenofóbico -a -os -as XENOPHOBIC
zurdo -a
-os
-as
LEFT-HANDED

 

Spanish adjectives quiz!

Learn Spanish Online!

This exercise is part of our online platform. Learn more about it and how to get access! Vamos and SAY ZONTE!

Learn more

Subscribe Now

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates!