Adjectives are words that modify or describe nouns and pronouns. Big, wonderful, green, and so on, are all adjectives. So are my, yours, his, etc, even though we don’t usually think of them that way—they describe who the noun belongs to. Generally speaking, anything that gives you more information about a noun is an adjective. Adjectives in Spanish work a little differently than they do in English: for example, they change depending on the gender and number of the noun, and they also usually come after the noun, instead of before.
Let’s start by taking a look at descriptive adjectives. These are the words that usually come to mind when we think of adjectives: words like good, hot, small etc.
There are three kinds of descriptive adjective endings:
1. Adjectives that change their ending from o to a depending on the noun’s gender. This includes most descriptive adjectives.
bueno/a good una chica buena/un chico bueno
pequeño/a small un arbol pequeño/una flor pequeña
frío/a cold el agua frío/la casa fría
nuevo/a new el libro nuevo/la música nueva
simpático/a kind el hombre simpático/la mujer simpática
2. Adjectives that only have one ending that stays the same, regardless of the noun’s gender. These usually end in an e or a consonant.
verde green el arbol/la mata verde
útil useful el libro/la guía útil
grande big el perro/la jirafa grande
caliente hot el desierto/la celba caliente
débil weak el té/la bebida débil
3. There are also some adjectives that end in consonants and gain an a at the end to become feminine. There aren’t very many of these.
creador(a) creative el chico creador/la chica creadora
soñador(a) dreamy, visionary el hombre soñador/la mujer soñadora
For some more examples of descriptive adjectives, check out our vocabulary list for personal characteristics.
Check out the links below to learn more about the other kinds of adjectives:
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SPANISH ADJECTIVES