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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 Spanish, adjectives are variable words, that is, they are going to take on different forms depending on the noun they go with, as they always have to agree with it. If the noun is singular, then the adjective will be singular too and if the noun is plural then the adjective will also be plural. You need to learn that in Spanish the nouns possess gender and that many adjectives have gender as well.

La casa bonita - las casas bonitas (The beautiful house - the beautiful houses)

El coche rojo - los coches rojos (The red car - the red cars)

Adjectives in Spanish usually go after the noun.

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

In Spanish, masculine adjectives normally end in "-o" and the ones ending in "-a" are normally feminine. These adjectives are going to take on four different forms each, depending upon the noun they describe. So, if we take as an example the adjective "bonito" (beautiful) we will find it in four different forms depending on the noun it goes with:

El libro bonito (masculine, singular) (The beautiful book)

Los libros bonitos (masculine, plural) (The beautiful books)

La chica bonita (feminine, singular) (The beautiful girl)

Las chicas bonitas (feminine, plural) (The beautiful girls)

As you can see from the examples above, the endings of the nouns and the adjectives that go with them are the same; that is because the adjective has the same gender and number as the noun it is describing. There are other adjectives in Spanish that only change their form to distinguish between singular and plural but not between masculine and feminine. These adjectives end in "-e".

Una persona importante - Unas personas importantes (An important person - some important people)

Un hombre importante - Unos hombres importantes (An important man - some important men)

We have studied that adjectives take on four different forms: masculine, feminine, singular and plural. We are now going to learn the rules to form the plural forms. Normally we just add "-s" to the singular form.

grande - grandes (big - big)

If the adjective in its singular form ends in a stressed vowel or consonant, we will add "-es" to form the plural.

marrón - marrones (brown - brown)

Israelí - Israelíes (Israeli - Israelis)

If the adjective ends in "-z" the plural form ends in "-ces"

feliz - felices (happy - happy)

We have learnt that adjectives describe the nouns, so in that case, they can be used to compare two different nouns. This phenomenon is what we call "comparisons". There are four types of comparisons.

Equality. The two nouns we are comparing share the characteristic the adjective is describing at the same level. There is no difference between them in that compared aspect. For this comparison we use the structure "tan + adjective + como".

Puedo aprender inglés tan rápido como Tim. (I can learn English as fast as Tim)

In this example both Tim and I possess the characteristic of being able to learn English fast.

Comparatives. In this case one noun possesses the compared characteristic in a higher level than the other noun. For this comparison we use the structure "más + adjective + que".

Mi ordenador es más rápido que el tuyo. (My computer is faster than yours)

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 "menos + adjective + que".

Mi ordenador es menos rápido que el tuyo. (My computer is less fast than yours)

This type of comparison is less frequently used.

Superlative. The noun we are describing and comparing possesses that quality in the highest level or in the lowest level. We use the structure: "el/la/los/las + más + adjective" to express the highest level and "el/la/los/las menos + adjective" to describe the lowest level.

Mi ordenador es el más rápido. (My computer is the fastest)

Mi impresora es la más rápida. (My printer is the fastest)

Mis ordenadores son los más rápidos. (My computers are the fastest)

Mis impresoras son las más rápidas.(My printers are the fastest)

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




Bueno (good) mejor (better) el mejor (the best)
Malo (bad) peor (worse) el peor (the worst)
Viejo (old) mayor (older) el mayor (the oldest)
Grande (generally: big) mayor (bigger) el mayor (the biggest)
Joven (young) menor (younger) el menor (the youngest)

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 variable. They are:

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

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Spanish Demonostrative Adjectives