Adjectives endings and agreement in Spanish (A1)

In this lesson, we are going to learn about adjectives endings in Spanish and how they agree with the name they accompany. In a dictionary, adjectives are listed in the masculine singular form, and, unlike in English,¬† their endings change depending on whether the noun being described is masculine or feminine singular or plural. Let’s see how they work.

Different examples of adjectives endings in Spanish

1.¬†Spanish adjectives that end in¬†‚Äďo¬†have four possible endings:

-o  m sing             el tren moderno (the modern train)

-a  f sing               la ciudad moderna (the modern town)

-os m pl                los pisos modernos (the modern flats)

-as f pl                  las estaciones modernas (the modern stations)

2.¬†Adjectives that end in¬†‚Äďe¬†have only two possible endings:

-e  m sing             el momento importante (the important moment)

            f sing              la victoria importante (the important victory)

-es m pl                los detalles importantes (the important details)

             f  pl               las fechas importantes (the important dates)

3.¬†Adjectives that end in¬†‚Äďl add ‚Äďes¬†in the plural and have no separate feminine forms:

  m sing                un vestido azul (the blue dress)

  f   sing                una falda azul (the blue skirt)

  m pl                    los zapatos azules (the blue shoes)

  f  pl                     las blusas azules (the blue blouses)

4.¬†Those that end in¬†‚Äď√°n,¬†-in,¬†-√≥n¬†add¬†‚Äďa¬†in the feminine singular,¬†¬†-es¬†in the masculine plural and¬†‚Äďas¬†in the feminine plural. There is no accent in the feminine or the plural:

m sing¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†el ni√Īo charlat√°n¬†(the talkative boy)

f sing                 la abuela charlatana (the talkative grandmother)

m pl                   los padres charlatanes (the talkative fathers)

f pl                    las tías charlatanas (the talkative aunts)

5.¬†Spanish adjectives that end in¬†‚Äďor¬†add¬†‚Äďa¬†for the feminine singular,¬†-es¬†for the masculine plural and¬†‚Äďas¬†for the feminine plural:

m sing               el Partido Conservador (The Conservative Party)

f   sing               un política conservadora (a conservative policy)

m pl                   los colores conservedores (conservative colors)

f  pl                    las ideas conservadoras (conservative ideas)

However, adjectives of comparison ending in¬†‚Äďor:¬†mayor¬†(older),¬†menor¬†(younger),¬†mejor¬†(better) and¬†peor¬†(worse), don‚Äôt have a feminine form:

Mi hermana  mayor (mi older sister)

6.¬†Adjectives of nationality and region add¬†‚Äďa¬†for the feminine.¬†singular,¬†-es¬†for the masculine plural and¬†‚Äďas¬†for the feminine plural. Unlike English, they‚Äôre not written with a capital letter (learn more about nationalities):

m sing ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† el jerez espa√Īol¬†(the Spanish sherry)

f sing¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†la naranja espa√Īola¬†(the Spanish orange)

m pl ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†los quesos espa√Īoles¬†(the Spanish cheeses)

f pl ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†¬† ¬† las tortillas espa√Īolas¬†(The Spanish omelets)

If the masculine singular ends in¬†‚Äďz, it changes to¬†‚Äďces¬†in the masculine plural:

el sol andaluz (The Andalusian sun)

los caballos andaluces (Andalusian horses)

7.¬†Adjectives ending in the stressed vowels¬†‚Äď√≠¬†and¬†‚Äď√ļ¬†¬†add¬†‚Äďes¬†in the plural and have no separate feminine forms:

m sing              el clima Israelí (the Israeli climate)

f   sing               la fruta israelí (the Israeli fruit)

m pl                   los aguacates israelíes (the Israeli avocados)

f  sing                los ciudades israelíes (the Israeli cities)

8. Finally,  adjectives describing more than one noun have the masculine plural ending except when both the nouns are feminine:

Juan y Pedro son espa√Īoles

Mar√≠a y Pedro son espa√Īoles

Mar√≠a y Julia son espa√Īolas

Exercises in adjectives agreement

Time to practice what you have learned about Spanish adjectives with this exercise. Remember to contact your tutor if you have any questions or if you want more exercises. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor online yet?

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