Spanish adjectives of quality / Adjetivos calificativos

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1. Definition
2. Feminine and plural adjectives
3. Place
4. Comparison

1. Definition.

 Adjectives are words that accompany nouns and pronouns to describe their qualities and other aspects. They agree in gender and number with the noun. There are some types of adjectives: demonstratives, possessives, numerals,... Now we are going to study adjectives of quality.

Adjectives of quality describe the noun.

Es un niño revoltoso.                 He is a naughty boy.

  2. Feminine and plural adjectives.

Unlike English, most Spanish adjectives are variable. They agree with the noun in gender and number:

         El coche rojo.                           The red car.

         Los coches rojos.                       The red cars.

         La silla roja.                              The red chair.

         Las sillas rojas.                          The red chairs.

   Rules for feminine and plural forms are quite similar to noun rules. Some adjectives are the same in the masculine and the feminine.

El niño / la niña es fuerte.            The boy / the girl is strong.

        Quiero el libro / la mesa verde.               

        I want the green book / table.

    Note that some adjectives can be nouns too (El italiano es un  idioma muy bonito -> Italian is a beautiful language).

    Me gusta la comida italiana.               I like Italian food.

   3. Place.

Adjectives of quality usually come after the noun. Sometimes they come before to stress that quality (be careful with using this too much) or change its meaning. Mejor and peor come always before the noun.

Me gusta el vestido azul.                         I like the blue dress.

Es un sombrero precioso.                         It is a gorgeous hat.

Es un precioso sombrero.                         It is a gorgeous hat.

Es un hombre grande                            He is a big man.

Es un gran hombre.                                  He is a great man.

Es mi mejor amiga.                                  She is my best friend.

Es su peor partido.                                   It is his worst match.

Some adjectives lose one or more letters when they come before the noun:

Ana es una gran amiga.                            Ana is a great friend.

Es un gran alivio.                                      It is a great relief.

Es buen jefe.                                            He is a good boss.

Es buena jefa.                                          She is a good boss.

Ese es un mal consejo.                              That is bad advice.

Paula es una mala amiga.                          Paula is a bad friend.

4. Comparison.

  There are three degrees of comparisonpositive (usual form);   comparative (equality, superiority and inferiority) and superlative      (highest kind or quality of something).

 Type              Construction                    Example

tan + adj. + como
igual de + adj. (+ que)
Eres tan alta como yo / You are as tall as me.
Sigue igual de alto / He is still as tall.
más + adj. (+ que)
Ana es más alta que yo / Ana is taller than me.
menos + adj. (+que)
Juan es menos agradable / Juan is not so nice.
Relative: article + más / menos + adj. (+de)
Absolute: muy + adj. / adding -ísimo
El más listo de clase / The cleverest in the class.
Es muy listo/ He is very clever.
La película es cortísima/ The film is very short.

Irregular comparatives:

Adjective        Comparative                                  Example.

mayor (age)
más grande (size)
El bebé es mayor /The baby is older.
El bebé es más grande / The baby is bigger.
menor (age/ inferiority)

más pequeño (height/age/size)
Las niñas son menores / The girls are younger.
Esa caja es más pequeña / That box is smaller.
Quiero algo mejor / I want something better.
Distinto, no peor / Different, not worse.

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