spanish adjectives

Lesson 4: Spanish Adjectives

 

LOS ADJETIVOS (The Spanish ADJECTIVES)

 

  • The qualifying Spanish adjectives are variable words (they have gender and number) that name qualities or states referred to a noun.

 

Example:

 

La blusa rosa (The pink blouse).

 

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  • They also express origin or the place where a certain person, animal or thing belongs.

 

Examples:

 

Él es griego. (He is Greek)

 

  CITY-COUNTRY   ADJECTIVE   CITY-COUNTRY   ADJECTIVE
 BUENOS AIRES   BONAERENSE  MAR DEL PLATA MARPLATENSE
 MADRID   MADRILEÑO  MURCIA   MURCIANO
  PARAGUAY PARAGUAYO CHILE CHILENO
PERU   PERUANO   ESTADOS UNIDOS   ESTADOUNIDENSE
  MEXICO   MEXICANO   SEVILLA   SEVILLANO
GRECIA   GRIEGO   FRANCIA   FRANCES

 

 

 Note: The most common endings of adjectives showing place of origin are: -ense, -ano, -eño, -és, -íno, -í, etc...

 

Exercise:

 

Find the correct Spanish adjectives for the corresponding countries, cities and regions:

 

Francia - francés

Argentina - argentino

Inglaterra inglés

Dinamarca dinamarqués
Finlandia finlandés

Portugal portugués

Roma - romano

Atenas ateniense

Croacia croata

Andalucía andaluz

Polonia - polaco

 

 

 

  • Spanish adjectives are also placed after the verbs: ser, estar (to be) or parecer (seem). Said adjective agrees in gender and number with the subject of the sentence.

 

Example:

 

Las niñas parecen contentas. (The girls seem happy)

 

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Exercise:

 

Correct the following sentences:

 

1.      Los teléfonos están descompuestoDescompuestos  (The telephones are out of order)

2.      Los niños parecen feliz en el cumpleaños. Felices  (The boys seem to be happy in the birthday)

3.      Son un grupo de niños traviesas.Traviesos (They are a group of naughty kids).

4.      El director de cine estaba furiosa.Furioso (The film director was furious).

5.      La maestra parecía cansadas. Cansada (The teacher seemed to be tired).

 

 

POSITION OF THE Spanish ADJECTIVES

 

  • Spanish Adjectives usually go after the noun they modify and they distinguish it from the group to which they belong.

 

Example:

 

La remera naranja (The orange t-shirt)

i.e. from all the t-shirts, the orange one.

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Or they can go before or after the noun they modify. In this case their function is to point out a quality of said adjective that is already known, whenever this quality is not necessary to differentiate the noun from other ones.

 

Example:

 

La blancanieve me encanta. (I love the white snow)

i.e the adjective blanca (white) does not add anything new to the concept we all have of the snow, as the snow is always white. If we take out said adjective, the sentence will give less, but still complete information.

 

 

NOTE:It is very important to remember that the qualifying adjective always agrees with the noun in gender and number, like blanca nieve, remera naranja, blusa rosa, tigre malo. However, there are adjectives that are invariable in gender such as hombre ágil (agile man), mujer ágil (agile woman), hombres ágiles (agile men), mujeres ágiles (agile women).

 

 

FORMATION OF THE ADJECTIVES

 

In Spanish, adjectives to describe masculine nouns generally end in “-o” and those which end en “-a” describe feminine nouns. These adjectives will each have four different forms depending on the noun they describe. So, for instance, if we take the adjective "lindo" we can find it in four forms depending on the noun it modifies:

 

Example:

 

La casa linda (femenine, singular) The nice house     <![if !vml]><![endif]>

Las casas lindas(femenine, plural) The nice houses.  <![if !vml]><![endif]>   <![if !vml]><![endif]>

El chico lindo (masculine, singular) The nice boy  <![if !vml]><![endif]>

 

Los chicos lindos (masculine, plural) The nice boys.  <![if !vml]><![endif]>    <![if !vml]><![endif]>

 

 

Note that the endings of the nouns and the adjectives accompanying them are the same. Consequently, the adjective has the same gender and number of the noun it describes. There are other two adjectives in Spanish that only change their form to distinguish between the singular and the plural, but not between the masculine and feminine. These are the adjectives ending in -e”.

 

Example:

 

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

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

 

Formation of the plural:

 

We normally add "-s” to the singular ending to form the plural.

 

Example

 

Pequeño - pequeños (small - small) <![if !vml]><![endif]>

 

If the adjective in its singular form ends in a vowel or a stressed syllable, then we need to add "-es” to form its plural.

 

Example:

 

marrón - marrones (brown - brown)

Israe - Israelíes (Israeli - Israelis)

 

If the adjective ends in "-z" the plural will end in "-ces".

 

Example:

 

feliz - felices (happy - happy)

 

Exercise:

 

Choose the correct alternative:

 

  1. Los empleados estaban ….. por la invitación.(The employees were happy for the invitation).    feliz  - felices 
  1. La computadora está ….. (The computer is broken)  rotas — rota

 

  1. Sus ojos …… eran muy …….. (His brown eyes were very nice) marrón - marrones - - bonito — bonitos

 

  1. Los vestidos …. están de moda (Blue dresses are in fashion)   azul — azules
  2. Las fiestas de pijamas son muy ……..(Slumber parties are funny)  divertido — divertidas

 

  1. Los caballos ……eran muy rápidos.  (Brown horses were really fast) marrones — marrón

 

  1. La torre es realmente ….. (The tower is really high)  alto - alta

 

  1. Las escuelas son ……y ……(The schools are big and modern)grande- grandes -- modernas — moderna

 

  1. La niña ….. mira a través de la ventana  (The young girl looks through the window) — pequeños — pequeña

 

  1. El lago ….. y ……. reflejaba la luna …….(The blue and calm lake reflected the rounded moon)  azules — azul --- calma — calmo --- redondos — redonda

 

 

 

COMPARISONS

 

 

         

COMPARATIVE

      INFERIORITY   It compares the qualities between two beings, expressing the inferiority of the former.  

Mónica es menos inteligente que Gabriela (Mónica is less intelligent than Gabriela)

      EQUALITY   It compares the qualities between two beings, expressing equality between them.  

Mónica es tan inteligente como Luis (Mónica is as intelligent as Luis)

      SUPERIORITY   It compares the qualities between two beings, expressing the superiority of the former over the latter.  

Ana es más inteligente que Luis  (Ana is more intelligent than Luis).

 

 

 



      SUPERLATIVE       ABSOLUTE   It is formed by adding -ísimo or -érrimo, or by placing the adverb muy (very) or the prefixes: hiper, requete-, súper, etc. 

María es inteligentísima. (Maria is extremely intelligent).

Un personaje celebérrimo. (He is a very well known person)

El examen es requetefácil. (The exam is really easy)

  RELATIVE  It is formed by el más ______de___ 

Es el más listo de la clase (He is the most intelligent of the class)

 

Exercises:

 

Fill in the blanks with the corresponding comparative or superlative:

<![if !vml]><![endif]> Brodrick es más alto que (alto)  Nicolás.  (Brodrick is taller than Nicolás)

<![if !vml]><![endif]> Mi escritorio está más ordenado que (ordenado) el tuyo  (My desk is tidier than yours).

 

<![if !vml]><![endif]>  La caja de Simón es más liviana que (liviana) la caja de Gastón. (Simon's box is lighter than Gastón's).

 

<![if !vml]><![endif]>  La caja de Simón es menos pesada que (pesada) la caja de Gastón (Simon´s box is less heavy than Gastón's).

 

<![if !vml]><![endif]> Martín es menos fuerte que (fuerte) Cecilia (Martín is less strong than Cecilia)

 

<![if !vml]><![endif]><![if !vml]><![endif]> Mariano es el más gordo (gordo).  (Mariano is the fattest)

 

<![if !vml]><![endif]><![if !vml]><![endif]>    El Señor Foster es el más feliz de todos. (feliz) (Mr. Foster is the happiest).

SOME USEFUL ADJECTIVES

<![if !vml]><![endif]>Grande (big)

<![if !vml]><![endif]>Largo (long)

<![if !vml]><![endif]>  Nuevo (new)

<![if !vml]><![endif]>  Viejo (old)

<![if !vml]><![endif]> Redondo (rounded)

<![if !vml]><![endif]> Corto (short)

<![if !vml]><![endif]> Pequeño (Small)

<![if !vml]><![endif]>  Grueso (thick)

<![if !vml]><![endif]> Fino (thin)

 



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