Spanish Adjectives


Spanish adjectives are more complicated than English adjectives. When you use Spanish adjectives, you not only do you have to match the gender of the adjective with the noun but you also have to match the number and you have to get the order right.

Mix colorful tomatoes

As we work with the verb ser (Unit) we find ourselves using more and more adjectives to describe people, places and things. In order to do this properly, let’s make sure that we are following the three simple rules for adjectives in Spanish.

In Spanish we need to follow three simple rules when working with adjectives:

Make sure adjective ending agrees in GENDER with the noun it describes. Make sure adjective ending agrees in NUMBER with the noun it describes. Adjectives generally (with a few exceptions) come after the noun.

This idea may sound foreign to you now as we do not adjust our adjectives in English, but soon you will be a pro! Let’s break things down…

Gender Agreement: When we say that adjectives agree in gender with the noun they describe, we mean that it either carries a masculine (o) or feminine ending (a). Some nouns use a gender neutral ending (e) that can also be used. For example: el carro blanco, la manzana roja

Number Agreement: When we say that adjectives agree in number with the noun they describe, we mean that it carries an -s if the noun it describes is plural. In cases when an adjective ends in a consonant (ex: trabajador), you will add -es. Also, words ending in -z will not only end in -es when plural but the -z will claso change to -c so that you will have -ces. For example: los carros blancos, las manzanas rojas

Word Order: Adjectives will generally come after the noun they describe rather than before the noun as we are used to in English. There are a number of adjectives that will come before the noun, but this also changes their meaning. For example: el chico alto, la chica cómica, los niños bajos, las chicas rubias.

Highlighted Author:

Zocalo Square and Mexico City Cathedral - Mexico City, Mexico

Spanish Newsletter

* indicates required
Smiling young african american businessman writing in diary and using laptop in creative office

Private Classes

Meet one or more times weekly with a dedicated Spanish instructor online at a pace and schedule that custom fits your busy life.

Group of cheerful young women studying together

Group Courses

Our 10 week group Spanish courses meet twice a week for 1-hour classes. Learn Spanish with other motivated students. Best option for Spanish CEFR certification.
Inspirational International Women's Day Quotes for 2023

Academy Courses

Join an Academy course for course content built on top of leading Spanish curriculum: includes videos, vocabulary, quizzes and certificate.

Additional Topics

Aztec Temple at ruins of Tenochtitlan with the Dome of Metropolitan Cathedral - Mexico City, Mexico
Spanish Passive Voice (all tenses)

Spanish passive voice formation is pretty straightforward. All you need is a subject (which is the object in the active sentence), the verb “ser” followed by the past participle of the active verb. Subject + ser + past participle

Some would call them the social generation
Spanish Conditional Tense

The conditional is a structure that we use to express possibility or probability, wishes, excuses, and even suggestions or requests. It can also be used to talk about things we would do, if a certain action happens (ie. hypothetical situations).

attractive asian girl using virtual reality headset on street in evening, city of future concept
Spanish Future Tense

The Simple Future (Futuro simple), is used to describe actions that will happen in the future, without indicating a specific point in time.

Show More
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.