Some words tell us what people, animals, or things are like or how they are. For example, the word “inteligente” tells us what a person is like, that is, it names the quality of that person. And the word “distraido” tells us how it is, that is, it names a state.
Words that express qualities or states are adjectives. The words inteligente and distraido are adjectives.
Use of the verb ser and the verb estar
The verb ser is used with the adjective to express quality.
Example, Juan es alto ⇒ John is tall
The verb estar is used with the adjective to express a state.
Example, Juan está enfermo ⇒ John is sick
The adjective and the noun
Adjectives always refer to nouns. They can go before or behind the noun to which they refer.
For example, interesante libro, muchacho amable.
Sometimes adjectives are attached to the noun they refer to through a verb.
The most common verbs are, ser, estar, parecer
For example, su vida es apasionante ⇒ Her life is fascinating
Adjectives appear in the same gender as the noun they refer to. That is why we say that adjectives agree in gender with nouns. Thus, adjectives that refer to a masculine noun appear masculine.
For example, un chico curioso ⇒ a curious boy
Adjectives that refer to a feminine noun appear feminine.
For example, una túnica blanca ⇒ a white tunic
Some adjectives, such as curious and white, have two forms: one for the masculine (curioso, blanco) and the other for the feminine (curiosa,blanca).
Other adjectives, however, present the same form for masculine and feminine.
For example, un hombre hábil ⇒ a skillful man
una chica hábil ⇒ a skillful girl
An example of adjectives without gender change occurs in some colors.
- blue, azul
- green, verde
- brown, castaño
- orange, naranja
- gray, gris
- rosa pink
Adjectives also appear in the same number as the nouns they refer to. That is why we say that adjectives agree in number with nouns. Thus, adjectives that refer to a singular noun appear in the singular.
For example, un telescopio moderno ⇒ a modern telescope
Adjectives that refer to a plural noun appear in the plural.
For example, unos telescopios modernos ⇒ some modern telescopes