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Spanish Adjectives

Spanish Adjectives

Adjectives are words that go with the noun to modify or qualify the meaning adding more information or detail making it different to the others and more specific. The most important adjectives are the qualifying adjectives. Examples of this type of adjectives are pequeño (small), azul (blue) or beautiful (bonito). These are the group that we are going to study in this section.

Adjectives agree in number

As we saw, every word around the noun has to agree in number. In other words, if the noun is singular, the adjective should be singular as well. This is a very important thing for the English speakers because adjectives in English are invariable, remain the same form in plural or singular.

Una casa blanca (a white house) / Dos casas blancas (two white houses)

Un niño rubio (a blond boy) / Dos niños rubios (two blond boys)

To form the plural from de singular form of an adjective is pretty much the same as we do with nouns. To make the plural form:

– In singular adjectives ending in vowel add –s

Interesante / Interesantes (interesting)
Guapo / Guapos (handsome)
Tonto / Tontos (silly)
Bonito / Bonitos (beautiful)

– In singular adjectives ending in consonant or accented vowel add –es:

fenomenal / fenomenales (phenomenal)
marroquí / marroquíes (Moroccan)
normal / normales (normal)
hindú / hindúes (Hindu)

– In singular adjectives ending in –z we replace that by –ces:

voraz / voraces (voracious)
sagaz / sagaces (sagacious)
tenaz / tenaces (tenacious)

Adjectives agree in gender

Adjectives need to agree in gender with the verb they are associated. That is to say if the noun is masculine the adjective that qualifies has to be masculine or in the opposite case, if it is a feminine noun the adjective needs to be feminine as well.

Un hombre alto (a tall man) / Una mujer alta (a tall woman)

To form the feminine, masculine adjectives ending in:

 -o, we replace that with –a:

feo / fea (ugly)
guapo / guapa (handsome/pretty)

-án,-ín,-ón,-or replaced by –ana,-ina,-ona,-ora respectively:

holgazán / holgazana (lazy)
parlanchín / parlanchina (talkative)
bonachón / bonachona (goody)
trabajador / trabajadora (hardworking)

 -ior remains the same:

inferior (lower) / superior (higher)
anterior (previous) / posterior (later)
mejor (better) / peor (worse)

– Adjectives of nationality ending in consonant adding an –a:

francés / francesa (French)
inglés / inglesa (English)
alemán / alemana (Dutch)

– Adjectives of nationality, ending in -a,-e,- i, -u remain the same:

belga (Belgian)
canadiense (Canadian)
iraquí (Iraki)

Position of the adjective

Spanish adjectives may be before or after the nouns they modify, depending on various factors. But, in general we can say that the most common position is after the noun, that means, in the opposite position that we find them in English language. Generally speaking, we can say that descriptive adjectives follow nouns usually, while limiting adjectives (such as demonstrative, indefinite, etc.) precede nouns.

Un coche negro (a black car)

Un día soleado (a sunny day)

Shortened forms of adjectives

Adjectives usually go after the noun but sometimes there are other cases when the adjective goes before the noun. In these cases, the adjective is frequently modified loosing the last vowel or syllable. Even, sometimes this modified adjectives that go before the noun can change their meaning. We will see a few examples to illustrate this:

Un coche grande (a big car) / Un gran coche (a great car)
Medio equipo (half the team) / Un equipo medio (an average group)
Un pobre hombre (a wretched ma) / Un hombre pobre (a poor man)
Un buen hombre (a harmless man) / Un hombre bueno (a good man)
Un único espectáculo (a single concert) / Un concierto único (a unique concert)

Comparison of adjectives

Adjectives have two degrees of comparison: comparative and superlative.

Comparative

We use the comparative degree when comparing two objects, persons, or ideas.a comparative adjective. To form a comparative adjective, in Spanish, you have to use más (more) or menos (less) or tan (the same):

Ella es más alta que yo (She is taller than I am)
La ciudad el menos tranquila que el pueblo (City is less calm than village)
Inglaterra es tan fría como Irlanda (England is as cold as Ireland)

So, comparatives (comparativos) are said to refer to superiority (mas…que), inferiority (menos…que) or equality (tan…como). The second element in the comparation can be:

– Another adjective:
Los gatos son más listos que malos (cats are more clever than naughty)

– A noun:
Los gatos son más pequeños que los tigres (cats are smaller than tigers)

– An adverb:
Los gatos son más limpios que antes (cats are cleaner than before)

– An adverb phrase:
En casa se come mejor que en un restaurante (You can eat better at home than in a restaurant)

– A verb clause:
Sabes más español de lo que piensas (You know more English than you think you do)

Irregular comparatives

-Bueno/a/os/as (good) changes to mejor/es (better)
La playa es buena / La playa es mejor que la montaña
(The beach is good / The beach is better that the mountain)

-Malo/a/os/as (bad) changes to peor/es (worse)
La grasa es mala / La grasa es peor que la fibra
(Fat is bad / Fat is worse than fiber)

-Grande/es (big) changes to mayor/es (bigger)
Londres es grande / Londres es mayor que Barcelona
(London is big / London is bigger than Barcelona)

-Pequeño/a/os/as (small) changes to menor (Smaller)
Barcelona es pequeña / Barcelona es más pequeña que Londres
(Barcelona is small / Barcelona is smaller than London)

Superlative

We use the superlative form when comparing three or more objects, persons, or ideas. There are two main groups of superlatives, the relative superlative and the absolute superlative.

The relative superlative

The English forms “the most…” and “the least…” are usually called the relative superlative because the information they refer to is amongst an specific group. For Instance:

El niño más alto de la clase (The tallest boy in class)
El coche más rápido del mundo (The fastest car in the world)
El peor estudiante de la clase (the worst student of the class)
La casa menos ordenada que he visto (the house less tided up I’ve ever seen)

The absolute superlative

The absolute superlative is used to intensify the quality of the adjective. It is formed by “muy” (very) + adjective or by adding -ísimo, -ísima, -ísimos, or -ísimas to the adjective or adverb. If the adjective ends in a vowel, you have to remove the vowel before attaching the endings. The absolute superlative does not strictly compare one thing to another, but states “a greater amount of”. This can be translated into English by placing “very” before the adjective or adverb.

Es una persona muy simpatico (He/She is a very nice person)
Es una persona simpatiquísima (He/She is a very nice person)

Julia es una chica muy guapa (Julia is a very pretty girl)
Julia es una chica guapísima (Julia is a very pretty girl)

Irregular absolute superlatives

Bueno-Mejor-Óptimo (El resultado es óptimo / The results are optimal)
Malo-Peor-Pésimo (El hice un examen pésimo / I did a dreadful exam)

Alto-Superior-Supremo (Patatas de calidad suprema / Supreme quality potates)
Bajo-Inferior-Ínfimo (La diferencia es ínfima / The difference is very tiny)

Pequeño-Menor-Mínimo (No tiene un mínimo respeto / He doesn’t have a minimum respect)
Grande-Mayor-Máximo (Es el máximo goleador / He is the best scorer)

Informal absolute superlatives

There are some prefixes that are used in colloquial language to express the absolute superlative.

Super: María es una chica supersincera (María is a really sincere girl)
Extra: Una pizza extragrande (An extra sized pizza)
Archi: Ricardo es mi archienemigo (Ricardo is my archenemy)
Requete: El helado está requetebueno (The ice cream is really tasty)

How to say “more and more” and “less and less”

Cada vez más (more and more):
Hace cada vez más frío (It is more and more cold)

Cada vez menos (less and less):
Es cada vez menos interesante (It is less and less interesting)

We hope we helped with this  Spanish lesson . If there is anything about the adjectives in this post that you think is not correct please send us an e-mail. We tried to cover as much as we could in order to give you a good start  with this. (Spanish info)

Possessives adjectives in Spanish

The possessive words in Spanish are words used to express possession or belonging.

In this section we are going to study two groups of possessives: possessives adjectives and possessives pronouns.

 

Possessives adjectives

 

Possessive adjectives are used to indicate possession in Spanish, and they must agree in number (singular or plural) with the item being possessed.

 

Here is a list of the Spanish possessive adjectives that are used before the noun:

Mi / mis (my)

tu / tus  (your)

su / sus (its, his, hers)

nuestro /-a / -os / -as ( your-plural)

vuestro /-a /-os / -as (your)

su / sus (their)

Only nuestro and vuestro have feminine forms, and they must agree in gender unlike the rest that can be used in both genders.

– Nuestro perro (our dog)

– Nuestra casa (our house)

– Vuestro amigo (your friend)

– Vuestra abuela (Your grandma)

Examples:

Mi coche es nuevo (My car is new)

Nuestra casa está en España (Our house is in Spain)

Mis amigos son españoles (My friends are Spanish)

Vuestro perro es muy bonito (Your dog is so beautiful)

Su casa es más pequeña que la nuestra (Their house is smaller than ours)

Possessive adjective after the noun.

In Spanish, some possessive adjectives are used after the noun, and they must agree in number (singular or plural) and gender with the item possessed.

Here is a list of the Spanish possessive adjectives that are used after the noun:

mí (-a, -os, -as)  mine, of mine

tuyo (-a, -os, -as) yours, of yours

suyo (-a, -os, -as) yours, of yours, his, of his

hers, of hers

nuestro (-a, -os, -as) ours, of ours

vuestro (-a, -os, -as) yours, of yours

suyo (-a, -os, -as) yours, of yours, theirs, of theirs

 

Examples:

Un amigo mío vive in Londres.

A friend of mine lives in London

Una amiga mía está en España.

A friend of mine is in Spain

Los cafés son nuestros.

The coffes are ours.

Conocí a un primo suyo.

I met a cousin of his

Quiere el mí­o.

He wants mine.

Perdieron los nuestros.

They lost ours.

Possessive pronouns in Spanish

Possessive pronouns are the words used to replace nouns modified by possessive adjectives. In Spanish, there are different forms of possessive pronouns depending on if the noun is masculine or feminine, singular or plural.

 

Mine: el mío / la mí­a / los míos / las mí­as

Yours: el tuyo / la tuya / los tuyos / las tuyas

His / Her / Its/: el suyo / la suya / los suyos / las suyas

Ours: el nuestro / la nuestra / las nuestras / los nuestros

Yours: el vuestro / la vuestra / los vuestros / las vuestras

Theirs: el suyo / la suya / los suyos / las suyas

Note that the Spanish possessive pronouns for third person singular (él, ella) and plural (ellos, ellas) are identical. Sometimes Spanish speakers need to clarify what they men to avoid misunderstanding in these cases.

There are two important things to know about Spanish possessive pronouns:

The possessive pronoun must match the noun being replaced in gender and number.

You should use the appropriate definite article.

Here you have some examples:

Mi padre está aquí ¿dónde está el tuyo?

My father is here; where’s yours?

Me gustan salir con mis amigos y ella prefiere con los suyos.

I like going out with my friends and she prefers hers.

Tus cuadros son buenos, pero los míos son mejores.

Your paintings are good, but mine are better.

Estos libros ¿son vuestros o nuestros?

These books, are they yours or ours?

No sé donde está el tuyo, pero el mío es este

I don´t know where is yours but this one is mine

Mis padres no pueden, llama a los suyos

My parents can´t make it, call his / hers/ theirs

Note that Spanish possessive pronouns are identical to stressed form possessive adjectives, but their usage is different: possessive pronouns replace nouns, while possessive adjectives modify nouns.

 

Neuter possessive

There is also a neuter possessive pronoun which is used when the possessed thing is abstract or unspecific object. This is formed with the neuter article -lo- plus the masculine singular possessive pronoun (mí­o, tuyo, suyo, nuestro, vuestro).

¿Quieres lo mí­o?

Do you want mine (my work, my food…)?

Encontró lo suyo.

He found his / hers (his / hers stuff, his things).

¿Cuánto es lo nuestro?

How much is ours (bill)?

Me gustan más los vuestros

I like more yours

No entiendo lo tuyo

I don´t understand yours (behaviour, acctitude)

We hope we helped with the Spanish adjectives. (Spanish info)

Spanish Numbers – Part 1

There are two types of numerals in Spanish: cardinal numbers and ordinal numbers.

The cardinal numbers or números cardinals are the numbers that correspond to series: uno (one), dos (two), tres (three), cuatro (four), etc. The second group, the ordinal numbers are numbers referred to the order in series: primero (first), segundo (second), tercero (third), cuarto (fourth), etc.

 

In this post we will study them and we will see that the numerals can be adjectives and pronouns. For instance:

 

– Tengo dos hermanos españoles (I have two Spanish brothers) (Adjective)

– Los dos están jugando al fútbol (the two are playing football) (Pronoun)

 

Cardinal numbers


1 uno (un), una

2 dos

3 tres

4 cuatro

5 cinco

6 seis

7 siete

8 ocho

9 nueve

10 diez

11 once

12 doce

13 trece

14 catorce

15 quince

16 dieciséis

17 diecisiete

18 dieciocho

19 diecinueve

20 veinte

21 veintiuno

30 treinta        31 treinta y uno    40 cuarenta

50 cincuenta  60 sesenta           70 setenta

80 ochenta     90 noventa          100 cien (see below)

The Spelling and gender of cardinal numbers in Spanish

 

– Numbers from 0 to 30 are written as a single word

– Numbers from 31 to 99 are written as two words linked by except for the tens (20, 30, 40, 50,) : treinta y uno (31).

 

Numbers are masculine in general. For instance, throwing a six and a four with the dice in Spanish would be : un seis, un cuatro.

-¿Uno or una?

Uno is replaced by una if it is followed by a feminine singular noun: una libra (one pound)

– ¿Uno o un?

 

uno is shortened to un when it is followed by a masculine singular noun: tengo un euro (I have one euro)

Hundreds:

100 cien 300 trescientos  800 ochocientos

101 ciento uno  400 cuatrocientos 900 novecientos

200 doscientos  500 quinientos

201 doscientos uno  600 seiscientos

Ciento is shortened to cien before a noun or an adjective but not before another number, except mil (thousand). Examples:

cien estudiantes (a hundred students)

ciento una familias (a hundred and one families)

los cien mejores libros (the hundred best books)

ciento treinta casas (a hundred and thirty houses)

ciento un estudiantes (a hundred and one students)

cien mil habitants (a hundred thousand inhabitants)

 

We hope we helped with the Spanish Numerals. (Spanish info)

Spanish Numerals – Part 2

In Spanish, hundreds agree in gender with a following noun:

 

Doscientas mujeres (two hundred women)

Docientos hombres (two hundred men)

Thousands:

 

1000 mil.

2000 dos mil.

3000 tres mil.

10.000 diez mil.

100.000 cien mil.

500.000 quinientos mil.

159.748 ciento cincuenta y nueve mil setecientos cuarenta y ocho.

1.000.000 un millón.

1.500.000 un millón quinientos mil.

25.667.477 veinticinco millones seiscientos sesenta y siete mil cuatrocientos setenta y siete.

The word -mil- is invariable when plural thousands are being expressed. But can appear in the plural in the expression -miles de – (thousand of).

Unlike in English, -mil- is not preceded by an article. For instance:

– Tengo mil dolares (I have a thousand dollars)

To refer to two million or more, Spanish uses the plural of -miles de millones-.

Punctuation of numbers in Spanish

Note when writing numbers in Spanish, a comma is used where a full stop appears in English and vice versa.

 

3.465 tres mil cuatro cientos sesenta y cinco (three thousand four hundred and sixty five)

3,465 tres coma cuatro cientos sesenta y cinco (three point four six five)

Saying dates and telephone numbers

The full stop is not used when writing years even if we are talking about thousands. In Spanish, telephone number are said in tens whenever possible. For instance.

 

91 47 34 28  (noventa y uno cuarenta y siete, treinta y cuatro veintiocho)

 

Ordinal numbers

As we said before, ordinal numbers are those used to indicate the position in series or successions.

Primero (first)

Segundo (second)

Tercero (third)

Cuarto (fourth)

Quinto (fifth)

Sexto (sixth)

Séptimo (seventh)

Octavo (eighth)

Noveno (ninth)

Décimo (tenth)

Rules:

– Ordinal numbers agree in gender and number with the noun they accompany:

 

El primero de la clase (the first of the class)

La primera mujer presidenta (The first woman president)

Las segundas partes nunca son buenas (The second parts are never good)

En los décimos pisos hace calor (In the tenth floors is always hot)

Another two examples that drops in front of a noun:

El primer libro del autor (The first book of the author)

Vivo en el tercer piso (I live in the third floor)

 

Uses

Ordinal numbers are used in Spanish specially in the following cases.

– Numbers form 1 to 9

– Naming kings, queens and popes

– When something is with Roman numbers

– To name centuries

 

We hope we helped with the Spanish Numerals. (Spanish info)

Spanish Numerals – Part 3

Collective numbers and fractions in Spanish

The collective numbers are nouns that represent a certain number of people or objects.

They are much more common in Spanish than in English. Most of the English numerical collective nouns have equivalents in Spanish:

– a pair of pants (un par de pantalones)

– a trio of singers (un trío de cantantes)

– a dozen eggs (una docena de huevos)

– a score of niños (una veintena de children)

You should know that most of the Spanish collective numbers have no single-word English equivalent so there is no way to translate them, you need to learn them by heart:

– Una decena de personas han venido (Ten people have come.)

– Una treintena de alumnos (A group of 30 students)

– Centenares de peces gigantes han muerto en las playas de Tokyo. (Hundreds of fishes have died on Tokyo beaches.)

– Más de un millar inmigrantes llegan cada año. (More than 1,000 people arrive each year).

Rules:

– When accompanying a noun they are followed by de

Una docena de uvas para el día 31 de diciembre (A dozen grapes for the December 31st )

Han suspendido un par de niños (A pair of children haven’t passed the exam)

– Collective numbers are usually singular:

Un millar de personas (A thousand people)

Un cuarteto de trompeta (A quartet of trumpets)

 

Fractions in Spanish can be expressed in different ways depending on the formality of the speech and specially the size of the number. Some examples

 

1/2 (La mitad)

– La empresa redujo a la mitad el precio (The company reduced to half the cost)

– La mitad de los niños son chicas. (half of the children are girls)

– Una mitad y otra mitad hacen uno (One half plus another half make one)

– Predicen la desaparición de un tercio de los linces en España (They predict the disappearance of a third of Lynxes in Spain )

1/3 (un tercio)

 

– Los espaÑoles pasan un tercio de su tiempo libre en internet (Spanish spend a third of their free time connected to internet)

 

– Un tercio de los ingleses van a España en verano (A third of English people go to Spain on summer)

For fourths up to tenths, you can use the masculine form of the ordinal numbers.

1/4 (Un cuarto)

– Un cuarto de los animals australianos está en peligro de extinción (A quarter of Australian animals are in danger of extinction)

– He bebido un cuarto de litro de cerveza (I have drunk a quarter litre of beer)

1/5 (Un quinto)

– El cambio requerirá la obtención de una mayoría de un quinto en la votación final. (The change will require the obtaining of a majority of one fifth in the final vote)

1/6 (Un sexto)

– Dos sextos es igual a un tercio (Two-sixths is the same as one-third)

1/7 (Un séptimo)

– Dos séptimos más dos séptimos es igual a cuatro séptimos. Two-sevenths plus two-sevenths equals four-seventh)

1/8 (Un octavo)

Un kilómetro es practicamente igual a cinco octavos de una milla. (A kilometer is practically equal to five-eighths of a mile)

We could say when the number is high, we will use the suffix -avo which is the aproximately equivalent of the “-th” (or, sometimes, “-rd”) suffix in English. It can be used for “eleventh” and beyond.

But, you should know that this is not the only form to express it. Numbers from 10 to 19 can be expressed as: 11 (décimo primero), 15 (décimo quinto). Numbers from 20 to 29 can be expressed as: 21 (vigésimo primero), 28 (vigésimo octavo), etc.

– Mi amigo vive en el piso décimo tercero (My friendo lives in the 13th floor)

– Es el trigésimo aniversario de mis padres (It is the 30th anniversary of my parent’s wedding)

– Hoy es su vigésimo quinto cumpleaños (today is my 25th birthday)

 

We hope we helped with the Spanish lessons – Numerals. (Spanish info)