How adjectives in Spanish behave with nouns
I often hear Spanish speakers say that “in English you say things the other way around”. This refers to the structure of Spanish phrases. And I believe that probably native English speakers probably say the same thing about Spanish.
Anyway, it is not quite precise. Because the only quite obvious thing that is usually inverse between both languages is the order of nouns and adjectives.
This means that while in English the adjective always goes before the noun, adjectives in Spanish generally go after the noun.
This ultimately affects the structure of the sentence in other ways that I will not explain in this class.
However, you probably noticed that I said “generally” when saying that “adjectives in Spanish generally go after the noun”.
The reason I say “generally” is because if we put adjectives in Spanish before the nouns (like in English) it is not grammatically incorrect. But this order usually sounds awkward. Therefore it is preferably not used this way.
This same behavior happens with possession as well. While in English we would say “John’s car”, in Spanish we say “el auto de John” (literally: the car of John).
So, put simple, this is the usual order in Spanish:
- Describing word
Lets see in a few examples how we do use Adjectives in Spanish with Spanish nouns:
- El auto rojo es de Juan (Juan’s red car)
- La casa bonita de la vecina (the neighbor’s pretty house)
- Las sábanas blancas de mi cama (my bed’s white sheets)
In the video-lesson that is below (2 videos) I will mention some few other examples with simple Spanish sentences. Try to listen to my pronunciation. During the lessons I try my best to use a neutral Spanish accent (or as neutral as possible).
Also, I recommend all my students that follow my online courses to do the exams that I upload to my website. The topic of this lesson (Adjectives in Spanish) is included in Spanish Quiz Nbr. 4 (lessons 20 – 26).
You can find a full list of all the video lessons by clicking on the List of Lessons tab on the Main Menu.
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