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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

Descriptive adjectives

Pluralization, gender, agreement, and meaning

  • 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”:
  • 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
  • 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
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
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)