Adjectives in Spanish Language. Characterizing the nouns.

Definition of Adjectives :

In Spanish, as in English, Adjectives are words that affect nouns, accompany and provide information about them. They act as modifiers or contributing attributes, properties and characteristics to those nouns. Unlike English, in Spanish agrees in gender and number with the noun, and is almost always used after this.

Types of Adjectives:

There are several types of adjectives, but for now we will see the following classifications in the Spanish Grammar:

  • Calificative Adjectives:

The calificative adjective has the function of noted features or qualities of the noun to which accompanies, describing what are, make or have them subject of the sentence, giving information extra on these.

When we add a word that talks about a feature specific of the subject, such as color, size, shape, status, etc., we have a calificative adjective. Here are several examples:

El perro blanco → The white dogadjective square cookie

La casa blanca → The white house

Los niños pequeños → The little kids

Las manzanas pequeñas → The little apples

El pan redondo → The round bread

Las galletas cuadradas → The square cookies

La arena húmeda → The wet sand

Los bosques húmedos → The wet forests

In Spanish its name is: “Adjetivo Calificativo

  • Explicative Adjectives:

As one of the most notable differences between both languages, our Tip more important today is the one concerning the explicative adjectives.

This is one of the few cases in which, in Spanish, the adjective is placed in front of the noun.

The explicative adjective or epithet is a type of adjective which expresses an inherent quality of the noun, which is by its very nature. These adjectives highlighted the qualities that expressed itself nouns, either abstract or concrete, and are most commonly used in literary language.

Properties of the explicative Adjective:

  • Can be removed and the sentence would not lose meaning since they function only as an aesthetic complement to the noun.
  • Explicative adjectives are placed before the noun.

Here we can see some examples:

adjectives poisonous snakeEl frio invierno → The cold winter

Las oscuras noches → The dark nights

La venenosa serpiente → The poisonous snake

Los calientes desiertos → The hot deserts


In Spanish they are called: “Adjetivo Explicativo“.

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Written By Alberto Otano

2 Comments on “Adjectives in Spanish Language. Characterizing the nouns.

  1. Roberto

    July 24, 2016 at 4:54

    Muy bien elaborada y pensada , de gran ayuda para conocer los modismos y estilos de la lengua común española para los angloparlantes .

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