Descriptive adjectives
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Descriptive adjectives. Pluralization, gender, agreement, and meaning. Pluralization. We add a “s” to adjectives that end with a non-accented vowel: We add an “es” to adjectives that end in a consonant or an accented vowel:

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Descriptive adjectives l.jpg

Descriptive adjectives

Pluralization, gender, agreement, and meaning

Pluralization l.jpg

  • We add a “s” to adjectives that end with a non-accented vowel:

  • We add an “es” to adjectives that end in a consonant or an accented vowel:

  • If an adjective ends with the letter “z”, then we erase the “z” and add “ces”:

Gender l.jpg

  • The majority of the adjectives that end with “a” are feminine.

    • Una gente diversa

    • Una persona honesta

  • The majority of the adjectives that end with “o” are masculine.

    • Un país muy diverso

    • Un hombre honesto

  • Adjectives ending in “ista” o “ta” can be masculine or feminine.

    • Un hombre idealista, la mujer idealista

    • Los países capitalistas, las compañías capitalistas

    • El político demócrata, la organización demócrata

  • Adjectives ending in “e” or a consonant do not express gender—they only have two forms “singular” and “plural”.

    • Una profesora inteligente, un profesor inteligente, las niñas inteligentes, los estudiantes inteligentes

    • Una persona útil, un carro útil, unas herramientas útiles, unos trucos útiles

  • A group of adjectives that ends with a consonant (those that express nationality or end with “dor”), have a special feminine ending.

    • Una estudiante alemana

    • Dos novelas españolas

    • Una persona muy trabajadora

Agreement l.jpg

  • Adjectives and nouns agree in grammatical number and gender.

    • Rosas rojas

    • Clavel perfumado

  • An adjective that refers to two or more nouns needs to be pluralized.

    • Cielo, paisaje y mar sureños.  

    • Canción y copla nostálgicas.

  • An adjective that refers to two nouns with different genders has to take the masculine gender.

    • Viento y lluvia huracanados.  

    • Romance y balada antiguos.

Agreement special cases l.jpg
Agreement: Special Cases

  • The adjective with two forms (the short preceding form and long suceding form).

    • There is a group of adjectives that have two forms. We use the short form before a noun and the long form after the noun.

      • Un buen hombre / un hombre bueno

      • Un gran evento / un evento grande

      • Un mal agüero / un agüero malo

  • The adjective “santo”

    • We use “Santo” only when the word procedes a name that begins with “To” o “Do”

      • San Juan

      • Santo Tomás

      • Santo Domingo

  • An adjective that modifies various nouns:

    • A suceding adjective agrees in singular with the collective noun or in plural with the complement of a noun.

      • Tropel de palabras injusto, impropio.   (con el sustantivo colectivo)

      • Tropel de palabras injustas, impropias. (con el complemento del sustantivo)

  • A preceding adjective that modifies various nouns.

    • The adjective agrees only with the noun that is closest to it in proximity.

      • la preceptiva autorización y control médicos

    • The adjective agrees in number with both nouns only when it refers to two people.

      • los simpáticos Paco y Toni

      • saluda a sus futuras esposa y suegra

  • A adjective that refers to particular types of the same class or entity.

    • When an adjective refers to different types of the same class or entity (expressed by a plural noun), then the must agree in gender and number with the affected entity.

      • las razas blanca y negra

Location and descriptive meaning l.jpg
Location and descriptive meaning

  • Adjectives almost always follow the noun that they describe in Spanish, because they are restricted to describing its “real” or objectively observable” characteristics.

    • Un amigo bueno

    • Una voz rara

    • Unos carros verdes

  • When we express “quantity”, however, we have to make sure the adjective precedes the noun it describes.

    • Primer viaje

    • Varios amigos

    • Poco tiempo

    • Otra lección

    • Algún día

    • Esta camisa / aquél sombrero

  • Also, if we want to call attention to a noun for “explicative” or “emotional” reasons, we need to place the adjective before the noun.

    • El extravagante negociante

    • El mejor amigo

    • La conocida escritora

    • La blanca nieve (sentido poético)