Adjectives (gender & number)
The function of an adjective is describing nouns.
As you have seen, in Spanish, adjectives agree in gender and number with the nouns. Please, keep this in mind during the course. This is important in order to write and speak Spanish properly.
The good news is that most masculine adjectives end in “o” and feminine adjectives in “a”.
Fortunately, adjectives that do not end in “o” or “a” have the same form for describing both genders.
Click on the image to see the translation of table 3.
Here is a list of adjectives that would be convenient to memorize:
Note: some adjectives can be placed before and after nouns. However, in this course, we will always place adjectives after nouns.
Este, ese, aquel, are demonstrative adjectives. They are used to point or identify something or someone. Moreover, they agree on number and gender with nouns.
Verb to Be (singular and plural)
In order to speed up your learning, I will introduce the verb “to be” in Spanish very briefly in the following table.
Learning the verb “to be” in its singular and plural forms allow us to make basic and very helpful sentences. In the next lesson we will study the verb “to be” in more detail.
Here, some other useful examples,
Click on the image to see the translation of table 7.
In Spanish, este, ese, and aquel, also works as demonstratives pronouns and can be used instead of a noun to indicate distance in time or space in relation to the speaker. They also agree on gender and number.
Note: it is very common that Spanish native speakers use “ese” and “aquel” indifferently to point at something that is far away, regardless of the location of the listener. However, “aquel” is much more common to point at something that is really located very far away.
Neuter Demonstrative Pronouns
Neuter demonstratives refer to an object that is unknown, a statement, or an idea. In many cases, they could be translated as “it", "this" or "that thing” in English. That is why they can be a substitute for nouns.
Important: neuter demonstratives only can be used in a singular form because as you saw above “estos, esos, and aquellos” are not neuter but masculine demonstratives. Therefore, you must always use them in a singular form regardless of number.
Neuter demonstratives take on greater importance when we use them to point out something unknown. Due to the inability to use gender (esto/esta) since we do not know the gender of the unknown things, we can appeal to neuter demonstratives.
Once you get the gender information, you will be able to use the masculine or feminine demonstrative.
Possessive adjectives are used to indicate ownership.
As you have seen “mi, tu and su” have the same form for both genders. However, “nuestro and nuestra” must agree in gender with the noun that precedes them.
Click on the image to see the translation of table 13.
In Spanish, there is only one form for the third person possessive, “su” and “sus”. "Su" is used in front of singular nouns and "sus" in front of plural nouns. However, use them could be resulted ambiguous due to the lack of information, that is why you can also use the following grammar structure to clarify or be more accurate when it comes to talking about possession.
The noun + de + personal pronoun / persons’ names
In Spanish, we do not have apostrophes to indicate possession, for example, “Ben’s house”. In Spanish grammar, the same sentence would be, “The house of Ben” which in Spanish is “La casa de Ben”.
Note: “tú” with accent mark means “you”, and “tu” without accent mark means “your”. The same happens to “él” which means “he”, and “el” without an accent mark means “the”.
In the next lesson, we will learn all personal pronouns.
The possessive pronouns replace or take the place of nouns. They help us to show possession or ownership in a sentence. The possessive pronouns are similar to the possessive adjectives, but they are normally used with the definite article.
A: Mi carro es nuevo.
B: El mío es viejo.
In the example above, “el mío” refers to “my car”.
Here are some other examples,
Click on the image to see the translation of table 17.
The article is usually omitted when the possessive pronoun comes after the verb ser.
A: Ese es mi carro.
B: Este es (el) mío. (the article is only necessary when the speaker needs to emphasize)
The gender of possessive pronoun depends on the gender of the noun and not on the gender of the owner. For example, “El regalo” is a masculine and singular noun, therefore, the possessive pronoun must be masculine and singular (mío). It is because the noun and possessive pronoun must always agree in gender and number.
In Spanish, we do not have the suffix “-er” at the end of adjectives to compare people, animals, or things.
Instead, we say that something is “more or less” + adjective + than something else.
Here are some useful examples,
In addition to “tan + adjetivo+ como”, also we have “igual de + adjetivo + que”.
Note: In Spanish, it is much more common to say that something is “more than” than “less than”. That is why instead of saying, “un tren es menos rápido que un avión”, a native speaker probably would prefer saying “un avión es más rápido que un tren”.
Mejor & Peor
"Mejor" and "poor" are also comparative adjectives, they mean “better" and "worse” respectively.