HomeQ&ABuen, bueno, mal, malo

Buen, bueno, mal, malo


Hello helpers,

is there anyway to know when to use buen and when to use bueno, likewise, mal and malo in the masquline? I thought that maybe the O's were droped when following a noun starting with another vowel, but this seems to be specious reasoning.

updated AGO 31, 2017
posted by Zachary-Santamaria

3 Answers


Buen is the form used before a singular masculine noun.

1). ¡Que tengas buen viaje! - have a good journey!

2). Sería bueno que hablaras con ella - It would be a good idea if you spoke to her.

Malo/mal is similar to bueno/buen in this way but you might want to take notice of the fact that the word mal is also used as an adverb - poorly (see below) and as a noun - evil

Don't get the adjective "malo" confused with the adverb "mal"

La comida es mala [adjective] porque cocina muy mal [adverb] - The food is poor/bad because she cooks very poorly.

malo/mala - adj. of poor quality

mal - adv. poorly (done/made etc)

updated AGO 31, 2017
edited by Izanoni1
posted by Izanoni1

Therefore can you say that at school you used to do badly in mathematics?

"Hacía mal en matemáticas en la escuela" (I did bad in mathematics/I didn't do well in mathematics)

updated MAR 14, 2011
posted by ChristineX
Yes. This is a straightforward use of the adverb "mal". - samdie, ENE 10, 2010

Bien = adverb bueno = adj

updated SEP 6, 2011
edited by aggsej
posted by aggsej
Bueno isn't an adverb. Bien is an adverb. Buen is just a shortened form of bueno - Luciente, ENE 9, 2010
SpanishDict is the world's most popular Spanish-English dictionary, translation, and learning website.
© Curiosity Media Inc.