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3.3: Los adjetivos descriptivos y de nacionalidad

  • Page ID
    74930
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    Descriptive Adjectives and Adjectives of Nationality

    Descriptive Adjectives

    1. Adjectives are words that describe nouns (people, places, and things).
    2. Since nouns have gender and number, adjectives also have a gender and number that must agree with the noun they describe.
    3. The verb "ser" is used with descriptive adjectives.

    Rules

    (In the rules below, all different ending options are noted in bold.)

    • For adjectives ending in -o there are four forms (masculine, feminine, singular, plural). To form the plural, simply add "-s" to the vowel: -o, -os, -a, -as. Examples: alto, altos, alta, altas
    • For adjectives ending in -e or -ista, there are only two forms (singular and plural, as they do not change in gender). To form the plural, simply add "-s" to the vowel: -e, -es, -ista, -istas. Examples: inteligente, inteligentes, idealista, idealistas.
    • For adjectives ending in a consonant, there are only two forms (singular and plural, as they do not change in gender). To form the plural, simply add "-es" to the consonant: -l, -les, -n, -nes. Examples: fácil, fáciles, joven, jóvenes.
    • For adjectives ending in -or, there are four forms (masculine, feminine, singular, plural). To form the plural, add "-s" if the singular form ends in a vowel; but add "-es" if the singular form ends in a consonant: -or, -ores, -ora, -oras. Examples: trabajador, trabajadores, trabajadora, trabajadoras.

    List of common descriptive adjectives

    aburrido/a = boring difícil = difficult importante = important pequeño/a = small 
    activo/a = active extrovertido/a = extrovert; outgoing inteligente = intelligent perezoso/a = lazy
    alto/a = tall fácil = easy interesante = interesting pesimista = pesimistic
    amable = kind feo/a = ugly introvertido/a = introvert pobre = poor
    antipático/a = unpleasant flaco/a = thin; skinny joven = young realista = realistic
    atractivo/a = attractive flojo/a = lazy liberal = liberal rico/a = rich
    bajo/a = short gordo/a = fat malo/a = bad rubio/a = blond; blonde
    bonito/a = pretty grande = big; large mismo/a = same simpático/a = nice
    bueno/a = good gran = great moreno/a = brunette; dark-skinned; tanned tímido/a = shy; timid
    calvo/a = bald guapo/a = good-looking negro/a* = black tonto/a = foolish
    conservador/a = conservative hermoso/a = beautiful optimista = optimistic trabajador/a = hard-working
    delgado/a = thin; skinny idealista = idealistic pelirrojo/a = red-headed viejo/a = old

    *For native English speakers, the word "negro" is often confusing. While it is the word for the color black in Spanish, it is a racial slur in English. For this reason, in the United States, many Spanish speakers use " afroamericano" and "afroamericana" or "moreno" and "morena" instead. Please note that "afroamericano" and "afroamericana" do not work for other nationalities, as each country has its own nationality. Other cultures do use the prefix "afro" with nationalities and regional identities, but it is currently used more often to describe elements of culture rather than to describe individuals (example: la cultura afroperuana, la música afrocubana, la gastronomía afrocaribeña). When talking about race, it is important that people and communities of color get to determine what is acceptable language; and it is also important to note that what is accepted may differ by individual, culture, and/or moment in time.

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     "Bienvenidos a la clase de español" by Angel Ho, is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

    Adjectives of Nationality

    1. These are also descriptive adjectives but they are formed slightly different.
    2. Adjectives of nationality are not capitalized in Spanish.
    3. The verb "ser" is used with adjectives of nationality.

    Rules

    (In the rules below, all different ending options are noted in bold.)

    • For adjectives ending in -o there are four forms (masculine, feminine, singular, plural). To form the plural, simply add "-s" to the vowel: -o, -os, -a, -as. Examples: peruano, peruanos, peruana, peruanas.
    • For adjectives ending in -e, there are only two forms (singular and plural, as they do not change in gender). To form the plural, simply add "-s" to the vowel: -e, -es. Examples: estadounidense, estadounidenses.
    • For adjectives ending in , there are only two forms (singular and plural, as they do not change in gender). To form the plural, keep the written accent, and "-es" to it: -u, -úes. Examples: hindú, hindúes.
    • For adjectives ending in a consonant, there are four forms (masculine, feminine, singular and plural). The masculine singular has a written accent on the vowel of the last syllable. The feminine singular is formed by adding an "-a" to it without the written accent. To form the plural, add "-es" to the masculine singular noun and remove the written accent; add "-s" to the feminine singular noun: -és, -eses, -esa, -esas.  OR -án, -anes, -ana, -anas. Examples: inglés, ingleses, inglesa, inglesas. OR alemán, alemanes, alemana, alemanas.

    List of common adjectives of nationality

    alemán, alemana = German chino/a = Chinese español/a = Spaniard inglés, inglesa = English peruano/a = Peruvian
    árabe = Arab colombiano/a = Colombian estadounidense = from the U.S. italiano/a = Italian portugués, portuguesa = Portuguese 
    argentino/a = Argentine coreano/a = Korean filipino/a = Filipino japonés, japonesa = Japanese puertorriqueño/a = Puerto Rican
    boliviano/a = Bolivian costarricense = Costa Rican francés, francesa = French mexicano/a = Mexican ruso/a = Russian
    brasileño/a = Brazilian cubano/a = Cuban  guatelmalteco/a = Guatemalan nicaragüense = Nicaraguan salvadoreño/a = Salvadorean
    canadiense = Canadian dominicano/a = Dominican hondureño/a = Honduran panameño/a = Panamanian uruguayo/a = Uruguayan
    chileno/a = Chilean ecuatoriano/a = Ecuadorian hindú = Hindu paraguayo/a = Paraguayan venezolano/a = Venezuelan

    Placement of the adjectives

    In the examples below, all adjectives are noted in bold. Pay attention to the placement in the sentence and their endings.

    Unlike English, both descriptive adjectives and adjectives of nationality are normally placed after the noun in Spanish.

                Es mi amiga venezolana.                    Es una chica bonita y simpática.

    Exception: Bueno and malo can be placed either before or after the noun. If placed before a masculine noun, they will both need to change to buen and mal.

                Un amigo bueno = Un buen amigo         Un libro malo = Un mal libro

    ¡Ojo! The adjective grande always means large or big and is always placed after the noun. When grande is changed to gran, it means "great" (both masculine and feminine), and is always placed before the noun to express "great".

                Es un amigo grande con un gran corazón.