In English, adjectives usually precede, or go before, the noun they describe. In Spanish, most of the time, it is the opposite. In general, adjectives follow the nouns they describe.
There are several exceptions to this rule which are explained below.
Adjective Placement Exceptions
For the following instances, the adjective is placed in front of the noun it describes.
1. Descriptive adjectives that emphasize an essential quality of a noun
An essential quality of a noun is something that is implicitly obvious about a noun even without the adjective being present.
2. Limiting adjectives that define a number or amount of a noun, even if it is not specific.
Below you will find a list of common limiting adjectives. Remember that all numbers are limiting adjectives as well.
|various, some, a few|
3. Possessive adjectives (mi, tu, su, etc.) or demonstrative adjectives (ese, este, aquel).
4. Meaning-changing adjectives
Some adjectives can mean different things depending on their placement around the noun they modify.
- When placed after the noun like normal, the adjective carries a fairly objective, descriptive meaning.
- When placed before the noun, the adjective carries a more subjective, opinionated meaning.
Below you will find a list of common meaning-changing adjectives with their meanings when they are placed before and after the noun.
|Adjective||Before the noun||After the noun|
|of low quality||short|
|any (of those available)||any (type doesn't matter)|
|another /newly acquired||new/newly made|
|his/her own||especially for someone|