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Adjectives are the words we use to describe the nouns . They can tell you any characteristic of the noun they go with. This could be about its shape, colour, size, etc. In English, adjectives are invariable words, that is, they only take on one single or unique form (singular). Unlike Spanish, English adjectives DO NOT possess gender and DO NOT change from singular to plural when the noun they describe changes its form.


big house - big houses. (La casa grande - las casas grandes) (adjective + noun)

Adjectives in English usually go before the noun.


They bought a big house. (Compraron una casa grande) (pronoun + verb + article + adjective + noun)

We have studied that adjectives describe the nouns, but they can also be used to compare two different nouns. This phenomenon is what we call "comparisons". The only time we see changes in the adjectives' form, is with the comparisons. Let's learn the four types of comparisons.

Equality. The two nouns that we are comparing, share the characteristic the adjective is describing at the same level. There is no difference between the nouns in that compared aspect. For this comparison we use the structure "as + adjective + as". E.g.: I can learn English as fast as Tim. (Puedo aprender inglés tan rápido como Tim) In this example both Tim and I possess the characteristic of being able to learn English fast. When using a negative sentence, sometimes we change the first "as" for "so": "so + adjective + as" E.g.: My computer is not so fast as yours. (Mi ordenador no es tan rápido como el tuyo)

Comparatives. In this case one noun possesses the compared characteristic in a higher level than the other noun. For this type of comparative we use the structure "adjective + er + than". If the adjective we are comparing has two or more syllables we use "more + adjective + than". E.g.: My computer is faster than yours. (Mi ordenador es más rápido que el tuyo) My computer is more reliable than yours. (Mi ordenador es más fiable que el tuyo)

Inferiority. It is the opposite type of comparison of the above explained. One noun has the characteristic the adjective describes in a lower level than the other noun. We use the structure "less + adjective + than". E.g.: My computer is less reliable than yours. (Mi ordenador es menos fiable que el tuyo) This type of comparison is less frequently used.

Superlative. The noun we are describing and comparing possesses a quality in the highest level or in the lowest level. We use the structure: "the + adjective + est". If the adjective has two or more syllables we use instead "the most + adjective" to express the highest level and "the least + adjective" to describe the lowest level.

Example My computer is the fastest . (Mi ordenador es el más rápido) My computer is the most reliable. (Mi ordenador es el más fiable) My computer is the slowest . (Mi ordenador es el más lento) My computer is the least fast. (Mi ordenador es el menos rápido)

Some of the adjectives in English are irregular when making the comparisons. We need to learn them by heart.




bad (malo) worse (peor) the worst (el peor)
good (bueno) better (mejor) the best (el mejor)
little (pequeño) less (menos) the least (generally: el/lo menos)
many (mucho) more (más) the most (el más)
much (mucho) more (más) the most (el más)
old (viejo) older (mayor) the eldest (el mayor)

Other types of adjectives help us to establish a possession relation, they are the possessive adjectives. They go before the noun that is possessed and they are invariable. We only distinguish in the 3rd singular person the gender of the possessor, the rest of the persons remain the same form even when the noun that follows is plural. They are:

1st person my (mi / mis)
2nd person your (tu / tus)
3rd person his(male possessor) (su / sus)
3rd person her(female possessor) (su / sus)
3rd person its(animal or object) (su / sus)
1st person plural our (nuestro/a/os/as)
2nd person plural your (vuestro/a/os/as)
3rd person plural their (su / sus)


These adjectives come from verbs. They are actually the participle of the verb. Not every verb is going to produce a participle, which is going to be at the same time an adjective. They can appear in two forms, they either end in "-ed" or "-ing", although, as always, there are exceptions and in this case they are the irregular verbs. The "-ing adjectives" describe a continuous or typical characteristic of the noun they are describing.


A leaking pipe. (Una tubería con fugas)

In this example the adjective "leaking" describes the noun "pipe" and at the same time indicates that the characteristic that it is mentioning is a continuous feature of the noun, but not necessary a permanent feature. The "-ed adjectives" are most of the past participles of the verbs that admit a direct object (the result of the verb action). These adjectives describe the nouns according to the state that the verb action has on them.


A selected word. (Una palabra seleccionada)

In this example the verb "select" has produced a state in the noun "word", and we use the past participle "selected" to describe the noun.

Learn English Demonstrative Adjectives