Adjective Endings in Spanish Grammar

Introduction

Adjective endings indicate whether an adjective is masculine, feminine, singular or plural. We change these ending accordingly, so that they agree with they noun they modify.

Learn about adjective inflection in Spanish grammar with Lingolia’s simple overview, explanations and exercises.

Example

José y Berta son los amables dueños de Félix. Félix es un gato blanco que está encima del sillón gris y duerme. Tiene mucha sed y sueña con un bol grande de rica leche. En la botella de su marca preferida hay una vaca preciosa

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Singular

  • The masculine form usually ends in -o.
    Example:
    Félix es un gato blanco.Felix is a white cat.
  • The feminine form usually ends in -a.
    Example:
    Alba es una gata blanc.Alba is a white cat.
  • Adjectives that end in -e have only one form for both masculine and feminine.

    Example:
    José es el amable dueño de Félix.José is the friendly owner (m.) of Félix.
    Berta es la amable dueña de Félix.Berta is the friendly owner (f.) of Félix.
  • Adjectives that end in -or, -ol, -ón, -án, -ín and -és, take an -a in the feminine form (exception: cortés).

    Example:
    José no es francés. Berta tampoco es francesa.José is not French. Berta is not French either.
    (but: José es cortés. Berta también es cortés.)José is polite. Berta is also polite.
  • All other adjectives that end in a consonant have only one form for both masculine and feminine.

    Example:
    Félix está encima de la silla gris.Félix is on the grey chair.
    Félix está encima del sillón gris.Félix is on the grey armchair.

Exceptions

  • When an adjective refers to several nouns, including at least one masculine noun, then the adjective will receive the masculine ending.
    Example:
    José y Berta son muy simpáticos. José and Berta are very nice.
  • The following adjectives often come before the noun and lose the masculine ending -o in the singular: primer(o), mal(o), buen(o), tercer(o):
    Example:
    primer plato first course (of a meal)
  • The adjective grande loses its final syllable in the singular (masculine and feminine) when it is placed before the noun it refers to.

    Example:
    la gran violinista the great violinist
    el gran pianistathe great pianist
    los grandes músicosthe great musicians

Plural

  • The masculine and feminine plural forms are formed with the ending -s.
    Example:
    Félix piensa a menudo en ricos platos.He often thinks about delicious meals.
    sus marcas preferidashis favourite brands
  • Adjective that end with a consonant, or , take -es in the plural.
    Example:
    Me encanta el queso francés.I love French cheese.
    Me encantan los quesos franceses. I love French cheeses.
    Me gusta la comida hindú. I like Indian food.
    Aquí hay muchos restaurantes hindúes. There are a lot of Indian restaurants here.
  • Adjectives that end in -z, take -ces in the plural.
    Example:
    Félix es un gato feliz. Félix is a happy cat.
    José y Berta son felices. José und Berta are happy.