How to use adjectives in Spanish

Position of adjectives

Adjectives normally go after the noun in Spanish and agree in gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural) with the nouns they describe.

Look at the position of the adjective in these phrases:

  • el perro negro - the black dog

  • la casa blanca - the white house

The adjectives negro and blanca come after the noun in the Spanish translations of the phrases.

Agreement of adjectives

It is important to know the gender of nouns in Spanish as adjectives have to agree with (or match) the noun they describe.

For example:

  • un chico alto - a tall boy

  • una chica guapa - a pretty girl

The endings in the adjectives alto and guapa have changed to match the gender of the nouns before them.

Now look at the number of each noun below and how the adjective has changed in these phrases:

  • dos perros negros - two black dogs

  • tres casas blancas - three white houses

Negros is masculine and plural to agree with dos perros and blancas is feminine and plural to agree with tres casas.

Comparatives

To compare two things in Spanish, use más + adjective + que to say more + adjective + than.

For example:

  • Un perro es más inteligente que un gato - a dog is more intelligent than a cat.

  • El chico es más alto que la chica - the boy is taller than the girl.

When you use an adjective to compare two things, the adjective still has to agree with the thing that it’s describing.

Look at the sentences above to see how this was done, then look at the following plural examples:

  • Los libros son más interesantes que las películas - the books are more interesting than the films.

  • Las chicas son más rápidas que los chicos - the girls are quicker than the boys.

Notice how interesantes agrees with los libros (masculine and plural), and rápidas agrees with las chicas (feminine and plural).

Mi hermano es más alto que mi madre

You could also use menos + adjective + que to say less + adjective + than.

For example:

  • La chica es menos alta que el chico - the girl is less tall than the boy.

  • Esta falda es menos corta que la otra - this skirt is less short than the other one.

Have a go at this activity to check your understanding of adjectives in Spanish.

Quiz

Find out how much you know about adjectives in Spanish with this short quiz!

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