As the name may suggest, descriptive adjectives describe some quality of a noun.
In Spanish, adjectives must agree with the noun (or pronoun) they describe in gender and in number. This means that if the noun an adjective describes is feminine, the adjective must be feminine, and if that same noun is also plural, the adjective will be feminine AND plural as well.
For example, the noun lasfaldas(the skirts) is plural and feminine, so any adjectives used to describe it most also be plural and feminine. For example:
the pretty skirts
the expensive skirts
the striped skirts
Spanish adjectives are usually listed in their masculine singular form in dictionaries, so it is important to know how to match these masculine singular adjectives to whatever noun you happen to be describing. Most adjectives end in o, e, or a consonant in their singular masculine forms. Below you will find the rules for matching these adjectives to their respective nouns in gender and number.
Adjectives that End in o
Adjectives that end in o in the masculine singular form have four possible endings, one each for masculine, feminine, singular, and plural. These types of adjectives make up the majority of adjectives in Spanish.
o Adjective Endings
To change the masculine singular form of an adjective to match a feminine noun, replace the -o ending with an a.
Es un perronegro.
It's a black dog.
Es una camisanegra.
It's a black shirt.
To make an oadjective plural in the masculine or feminine form, add an sto the singular ending.
El hombre esalto.
The man is tall.
Los hombres sonaltos.
The men are tall.
Adjectives that End in e or -ista
Adjectives that end in e or -ista do not change according to gender. They agree with both masculine and feminine nouns in the singular form, though they do change for number.
Gender of Noun and Adjective
Tengo un abuelointeresante.
Mi abuela esinteresante.
Mi profesor esmuy idealista.
Mi profesora esmuy idealista.
To make an e adjective plural, add an s to the singular ending.
e Adjective Endings
-ista Adjective Endings
Los árboles sonverdes.
The trees are green.
Allí están las niñasgrandes.
There are the big girls.
Adjectives that End in a Consonant
Most adjectives that end in a consonant do not change according to gender, but do change for number, just like adjectives that end in -e.
El coche esazul.
The car is blue.
La moto esazul.
The motorcycle is blue.
El gatofelizestá en la sala.
The happy cat is in the living room.
La gatafelizestá en la sala.
The happy cat is in the living room.
To make an adjective that ends in a consonant plural, add -es to the singular ending.
El enigma esfácil.
The riddle is easy.
Los enigmas sonfáciles.
Riddles are easy.
A la mujerjovenle gusta este café.
The young woman likes this cafe.
A las mujeresjóvenesles gusta este café.
Young women like this cafe.
Exception: For adjectives that end in z in the singular, change the z to a c before adding the plural ending.
El gato esfeliz.
The cat is happy.
Los gatos sonfelices.
The cats are happy.
Exception: Adjectives that end in -or, -ón, or -ín do have feminine forms. Simply add a or -as to the masculine singular form and delete the written accent if necessary.
Mi hermano estrabajador.
My brother is hardworking.
Mi hermana estrabajadora.
My sister is hardworking.
Mis hermanos sontrabajadores.
My brothers are hardworking.
Mis hermanas sontrabajadoras.
My sisters are hardworking.
Pablo is stubborn.
Paula is stubborn.
Exception: Adjectives ending in -erior do not have a feminine form.
Está en el patioexteriordel edificio.
He's in the back patio of the building.
Está en la parteposteriordel edificio.
He's in the back part of the building.
Now, check out this fancy summary table of Spanish adjective endings!
Learn all about adjectives in Spanish with these articles!