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April 26, 2007

Shortened Spanish Adjectives

The adjectives bueno, primero, tercero, alguno, ninguno, and uno drop the final -o when they come immediately before a masculine singular noun. For example:

Juan es un buen muchacho.
(John is a good boy.)

Es un mal hijo.
(He is a bad child.)

Enero es el primer mes del año.
(January is the first month of the year.)

Vive en el tercer piso.
(He lives on the third floor.)

Se sientan en algún banco.
(They sit down on some bench.)

Ningún alumno está ausente hoy.
(No student is absent today.)

Note that algún and ningún require an accent mark when the o is dropped.


The o is not dropped when these adjectives follow the noun. Also the feminine and the plural endings of these adjectives are never dropped. See example below:

Juan es un muchacho bueno.
(John is a good boy.)

Es un hijo malo.
(He is a bad child.)

Elena es una buena muchacha.
(Elena is a good girl.)

Algunos bancos son cómodos.
(Some benches are comfortable.)


The adjective grande drops the final -de when it precedes a singular masculine or feminine noun. For example:

Es un gran médico.
(He is a great doctor.)

Note: Gran before a noun means great. Grande following a noun means large or big. See example:

Es un gran país.
(It is a great country.)

Es un país grande.
(It is a big country.)


PDF download: Shortened Spanish Adjectives

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February 14, 2007

Spanish Negation and Negative Spanish Pronouns

Spanish negation can be made by placing "no" in front of the verb. For example:
Me gusta el cuarto. (I like the room.)
No me gusta el cuarto. ( I don't like the room.)

Following are some affirmative Spanish words and their usual negative counterparts.

si (yes)
no (no)

algo (something)
nada (nothing)

alguien (somebody)
nadie (nobody)

alguno (some, something)
ninguno (no, none)

siempre (always)
nunca (never)

tambien (also, too)
tampoco (neither, not either)

o ... o ... (either... or ...)
ni ... ni ... (neithr ... nor ...)

These negative Spanish words can be used in front of the verb, just like the example we saw above for "no". Here are more examples:

Nunca estudio en la biblioteca. (I never study in that library.)
Nadie canta como ellos. (Nobody sings like them.)

These Spanish words can also follow the verb when used with "no". Note that unlike English, double negations are common in Spanish.

No vamos a comer nada. (We're not going to eat anything.)
No vi a nadie. (I didn't see anyone.)
No habla nadie. (Nobody speaks.)

PDF download: Spanish Negation and Negative Spanish Pronouns

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February 06, 2007

Ser vs Estar

There are two 'to be' verbs in Spanish, ser and estar. Ser is used to describe the nature and characteristics of something (permanent). Estar is used to describe the current state of something (temporal).

Estar is also used to to when describing location.

PDF download: Ser vs Estar

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February 05, 2007

Plural forms of Spanish adjectives

In English adjectives have no plural forms. However, in Spanish it is different. Adjectives must be made plural when describing a plural noun. For example:

(singular) El muchacho es aplicado.(The boy is diligent.)
(plural) Los muchachos es aplicados. (The boys are diligent.)

(singular) La muchacha es simpática.(The girl is nice.)
(plural) Las muchachos es simpáticas. (The girls are nice.)

The plural of adjectives, like the plural of nouns, is formed by adding -s if the adjective ends in a vowel, or -es if the adjective ends in a consonant.

(singular) simpática (nice)
(plural) simpáticas (nice)

(singular) azul (blue)
(plural) azules (blue)

Related article: Plural forms of Spanish nouns

PDF download: Plural forms of Spanish adjectives

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January 30, 2007

Spanish Lesson: Agreement of adjectives

In Spanish, the adjectives must agree with the masculine or feminine property of the corresponding nouns. Following are some rules.

  1. Spanish adjectives ending in -o change -o to -a when describing a feminine noun:
    (masculino) El papel es blanco. (The paper is white.)
    (femenino) La tiza es blanca. (The chalk is white.)

    (masculino) El libro es amarillo. (The book is yellow.)
    (femenino) La flor es amarilla. (The flower is yellow.)
  2. Spanish adjectives not ending in -o are the same in the masculine and feminine:
    (masculino) El cuaderno es grande. (The notebook is big.)
    (femenino)  La casa es grande. (The house is big.)

    (masculino) El lápiz es azul. (The pencil is blue.)
    (femenino) La pluma es azul. (The pen is blue.)

Note that descriptive adjectives generally follow the noun they describe:
        una revista popular (a popular magazine)


PDF download: Spanish Lesson: Agreement of adjectives

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