Lesson 18 - Mascotas (Pets)
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Pages in this lesson: Pets - Adjective placement - Dialogue - Reading - Quiz
This page: Learn about adjective placement in Spanish. Learn when to put adjectives after the noun and when to put them before the noun.
Adjectives are generally placed after the noun in Spanish. There are situations, however, when the adjective would go in front of the noun such as with demonstrative adjectives, possessive adjectives, numbers and indefinite adjectives. There are also adjectives that have a different meaning if they are placed before or after a noun. We will learn about each of these cases in this lesson.
The general rule in Spanish is that adjectives are placed after the noun. This is different from English where adjectives go before the noun.
There are situations, however, when you would put the adjective in front of the noun in Spanish. These exceptions include demonstrative adjectives, possessive adjectives, numbers and indefinite adjectives which are detailed below.
Demonstrative adjectives are words that indicate the distance of something (this/that/these/those). Demonstrative adjectives are always placed before the noun. You learned demonstrative adjectives in lesson 8.
Possessive adjectives are words that indicate who something belongs to. Possessive adjectives are always placed before the noun. You learned possessive adjectives in lesson 3.
Indefinite adjectives talk about a noun but don't give specific information. For example, they could give non-specific information about the number of things such as saying a lot, a little or some. You will be learning indefinite adjectives in Spanish in lessons 33 and 34.
Sometimes Spanish speakers place the adjective before the noun for emphasis or to convey emotion. The meaning of some adjectives even changes if they are placed before the noun.
|Adjective||Before the noun||After the noun|
|nuevo||newly-acquired (new to me)||newly-made (brand new)|
|pobre||unfortunate||poor (no money)|
|simple||mere, ordinary||simple, easy|
|solo||single (one)||lonely, alone|
Some adjectives have a shortened form when used before certain nouns.
The following words drop the final letter O before singular masculine nouns.
The word grande drops the final -de before singular nouns (both masculine and feminine).
The word santo (saint) loses the final -to before all masculine names except those beginning with the letters to or do.
Use the noun and adjective provided to translate the phrase to Spanish. Put the adjective in the correct form (masculine/feminine/plural/shortened) and write it in the correct position (before or after the noun). Add an article (un/una = a, el/la = the), if necessary for some of the singular nouns.
Find the mistake in the sentence and re-write it correctly in the space. Don't forget to use correct capitalization, accents and punctuation, or the computer will mark it as incorrect.
Write five sentences using adjectives from this lesson. If you want to type a special character (like an accented letter) in the comments section, you could do one of the following . . .
If you see an error in someone else's sentence, please respond with the correction. Comments that are not from "Janet Castrejon" (the author of this page) do not represent Simplified Spanish. If someone is writing inappropriate comments on this webpage, please send a message to [email protected] and include the page that you saw the comment on.