Spanish Adjectives: 100+ Descriptive Spanish Words That Are Hot!

By Jasmine on October 11, 2021

Spanish Adjectives Overview

When we first start learning a new language, we typically start with common greetings, such as hello and good morning, numbers, and a handful of vocabulary words. Soon after this, we start learning adjectives.

For those of us who aren’t language majors or may have been out of school for a little while and need a reminder: an adjective is a word or a phrase that assigns an attribute to a given noun. 

In other words, they are words used to give details and descriptions of people, places, and things.

Spanish Adjectives Overview

Imagine what it would be like to tell a story without any adjectives. Pretty boring, right? Adjectives allow us to convey ideas and stories with more precision and clarity, not to mention more fun.

If you’ve been studying Spanish, you are probably already aware of what a bright and colorful language it is. Spanish is full of great adjectives and learning how to use them correctly will get you one giant step closer to fluency.

In this article, I want to go over how adjectives fit into the Spanish sentence structure as well as share a list of 100 of my favorite Spanish adjectives. Don’t worry, using adjectives in Spanish is fairly straightforward. There are only a few simple rules to follow and I will be breaking them down and providing a few handy tips to help make this as painless as possible. Let’s get started!

What Is An Adjective Exactly?

As I already mentioned, adjectives are the words we use to describe nouns. This means that just about every word that adds interest to a sentence is an adjective. For example, consider this sentence:

There is a puddle in my yard.

This is vague, to say the least. Is the puddle small? Muddy? Clear? Huge? Sunken? Deep? Shallow? In essence, this sentence tells you almost nothing. But if we add in just a few adjectives, the story becomes something completely different.

There is a huge, green puddle boiling in my front yard.

Now we’re getting somewhere. We can imagine this scary puddle and we want to know more. Or maybe we don’t.

This is a somewhat silly example, but it serves a purpose. It allows you to easily see why it is so important to learn adjectives. With adjectives you can tell stories, give directions, and easily point out your tall, smart-looking friend Amilia. Adjectives are awesome.

Rules About Spanish Adjectives

The most obvious difference between English adjectives and Spanish adjectives is that English adjectives typically remain the same no matter what you’re talking about where Spanish adjectives have to match the noun they are assigned to.

English Example:

  • That big, yellow bird is very interesting!
  • Those big, yellow flowers are very interesting!
  • This big, yellow mug is very interesting!
  • These big, yellow chairs are very interesting!

Notice that the words ‘big’, ‘yellow’ and ‘interesting’ never change form even though they are being used to describe totally different things. Now, look at these same examples in Spanish.

  • ¡Eso gran pájaro amarillo es muy interesante!
  • ¡Esos grandes floras amarillas son muy interesantes!
  • ¡Esa gran taza amarilla es muy interesante!
  • ¡Estas grandes sillas amarillas son muy interesantes!

Do you notice the differences? The adjectives change depending on the gender and the quantity of the noun. Let’s talk about that for a minute.

You Have To Know The Noun’s Gender

One of the first things you probably learned about Spanish is that Spanish words have genders, they are either masculine or feminine.

In general, words that end with ‘o’ are masculine and words that end with ‘a’ are feminine. This is not always the case, so be mindful. Words like el problema (problem), el día (day), and el idioma (language) are all masculine where la mono (hand), la foto (photo), and la radio (I bet you can guess the meaning of that one) are feminine.

In order to use adjectives correctly, you have to know the gender of the noun you’re trying to describe. For people and animals, the gender of the noun can sometimes be changed to match the gender of whoever or whatever you’re talking about. For example, a male cat would be ‘un gato’ where a female cat would be ‘una gata’.

For inanimate objects, such as chairs, books, towels, and pans, the gender is based solely on the word itself.

As long as you know the gender of the noun, you can easily change the adjective to match. Most of the more common adjectives end with ‘o’ in their masculine form, making them easy to adjust. For example, here are the words for tall, thin, and clean.

  • Alto (masculine)
  • Alta (feminine)
  • Delgado (masculine)
  • Delgada (feminine)
  • Limpio (masculine)
  • Limpia (feminine)

If you are using an adjective that ends with ‘e’ or ‘ista’, then you’re in luck because these words remain the same for both genders. Here are a few examples:

  • Grande (Big)
  • Perfeccionista (Perfectionist)
  • Excelente (Excellent)
  • Caliente (Hot)

Adjectives that end with a consonant are also gender-neutral. Examples:

  • Feliz (Happy)
  • Azul (Blue)
  • Joven (Young)

Gender-neutral adjectives only change depending on the quantity of the noun you’re describing which leads us to our next adjective rule.

Singular And Plural Adjectives

Just like articles in Spanish, adjectives have to match the quantity of your nouns. This is pretty easy to remember if you’re already used to changing 'el' to 'los' or 'la' to 'las'. Here are a few examples, just in case:

  • Los gatos gordos (The fat cats)
  • Las empanadas calientes (The hot empanadas)
  • Las casas grandes (The big houses)
  • Los zapatos cómodos (The comfortable shoes)
  • Los niños listos (The smart boys/children)
  • Las niñas altas (The tall girls)

As you can see, the adjective has to match both in gender and in number. If it ends with ‘o’, ‘a’, or ‘e’ simply add an ‘s’ to make it plural. If the adjective ends with a consonant, add ‘es’.

An Important Exception: If the adjective ends with ‘z’, the ‘z’ is changed to a ‘c’ and ‘es’ is added. The most common example of this is the word ‘feliz’ which means happy.

  • The happy girl: La niña feliz
  • The happy girls: Las niñas felices

How To Use An Adjective (Or Two) In A Sentence

You have probably already guessed this just from reading all the examples, but let’s talk about it anyway. In Spanish, the adjectives almost always go after the noun.

This means that instead of saying, “The black car.” you would say, “The car black.” This may seem confusing at first, but you’ll get used to it after a while. I like to think that the noun is the most important feature of the sentence, so I say the noun first and then the adjectives. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but I’ll get to those in a second.

The second thing you should know about adjective placement is that the meaning can change depending on which of the dreaded ‘to be’ verbs you’re using: ‘estar’ or ‘ser’.

Remember: ser is used for permanent attributes and estar is for temporary attributes. This is especially important to remember if you’re describing a person, including yourself.

For permanent attributes, such as your ethnicity, eye color, and personality traits, you would use ser. For example, to say that you are blond you would say “Soy rubia(o).” To say that you are Italian you would say, “Soy italiana(o).”

For temporary attributes, such as feelings, you can say, “Estoy emocionada(o) de verte!” which means, “I’m excited to see you!”

Be very mindful of this when you’re talking about other people because the ‘to be’ verb you choose can change the meaning completely. For example:

  • Él es aburrido = He is boring
  • Él está aburrido = He is bored

As you can see, there is a huge difference in the meanings there.

Easy Mix Up Warning!

Be careful when expressing feelings this way. Many temporary states, such as hunger and body temperature, are expressed using ‘tener’ instead of ‘estar’.

For example, if you want to say that you are warm, you would say, “Tengo calor.” If you’re hungry, “Tengo hambre.” Thirsty? Say, “Tengo sed.” This can be used for some emotions as well. That is not the focus of this article, so I won’t go into detail here, but it is worth investigating to save you from some embarrassing situations.

Exceptions To The Rules

Of course, like all language rules, there are always a few exceptions. When it comes to Spanish adjectives, the biggest exceptions to these grammar rules are grande, bueno, and malo.

Grande (Big or Large)

Grande has two forms, grande(s) and gran. Although the words are similar and ‘gran’ seems like it would just be an abbreviation of grande, they do have slightly different usages.

Grande means big or large. Since it ends with ‘e’ we know that it stays the same whether the noun is masculine or feminine. It can be used before or after the noun, although using it before the noun gives it a bit more emphasis.

Gran, on the other hand, is always used before the noun and it means grand or great.

  • Una casa grande = A large house.
  • Una gran casa = A grand (or impressive) house.

Bueno (Good)

This adjective has three forms:

  • Bueno(s) (masculine)
  • Buena(s) (feminine)
  • Buen (abbreviated, singular, masculine)

Warning! Easy Word Mix Up: Buen can easily be (and often is) confused with ‘bien’, but don’t be fooled! Buen, as you now know, is an adjective. Bien is an adverb. Buen is used to describe singular, masculine nouns as ‘good’. Bien is used to describe an action as being done ‘well’ or ‘good’.

Like grande, bueno can be used before or after the noun, but placing it before the noun gives it a bit more emphasis. If you want to place this adjective before a singular, masculine noun then you can use ‘buen’. If the noun is plural then use buenos or buenas depending on the noun in question.

  • Esas buenas mujeres = Those great women.
  • Esas mujeres buenas = Those good women.
  • Un carro bueno = A good car
  • Un buen hombre = A great man

The meaning of bueno can also change depending on the verb it is used with. If used with ser it can mean that a person or thing is fundamentally good, such as a food being good for you. If used with estar it can mean that the noun is good in that moment, such as when you say your cup of coffee is good today.

Extra Side Note: Another interesting thing about ‘bueno’ is that it is often used as a filler word, much like ‘so’ or ‘well’ in English. For example, if you were trying to say, “Well… it was okay.” You could say, “Bueno… está bien.” And if you visit Mexico, you may even hear bueno used as a greeting, but only for answering the phone.

Malo (Bad)

Malo is just like bueno in that it has three forms: malo(s), mala(s), and mal. Following the rules you just learned about bueno, you can probably guess how each form is supposed to be used.

Malo(a) can be placed before or after the noun and must agree with the gender and number of the given noun. Placing it before the noun gives it a bit more emphasis. If you are talking about a singular, masculine noun then you can use mal, otherwise you would use malos or mala(s).

The meaning of this word can also change depending on whether it is used with ser or estar. If you are talking about a person and you want to describe their moral character you would say, “Él es malo.” (He is bad.) or “Ella es una mala persona.” (She is a bad person). If you want to say that someone looks bad, you could say, “Él está malo.” But that isn’t very nice, so don’t say that.

100 Helpful Spanish Adverbs

#

Spanish Adjective

English

Examples

Translations

1

Abierto(a)

Open

La puerta está abierta. Las ventanas están abiertas.

The door is open. The windows are open.

2

Aburrido(a)

Boring

Este libro es aburrido. Esas películas son aburridas.

This book is boring. Those movies are boring.

3

Afortunado(a)

Lucky

Él es una persona afortunada.

He is a lucky person.

4

Agradable

Pleasant

Este pájaro es agradable.

This bird is pleasant (or nice).

5

Alto(a)

Tall or High

Ella es muy alta.

She is very tall.

6

Amable

Friendly

Mis compañeros de trabajo son amables.

My coworkers are nice.

7

Amargo(a)

Bitter

Este jugo es amargo.

This juice is bitter.

8

Ancho(a)

Width

Ese río es ancho.

That river is wide.

9

Apretado(a)

Tight

Este vestido está demasiado apretado.

This dress is too tight.

10

Bajo(a)

Short or Low

Mi hermano es bajo.

My brother is short.

11

Barato(a)

Cheap

Estos boletos son muy baratos.

These tickets are very cheap.

12

Blando(a)

Soft

Tengo un sombrero blando.

I have a soft hat.

13

Bonito(a)

Pretty

Una flor bonita.

A pretty flower.

14

Caliente

Hot

Su café es muy caliente.

Their coffee is very hot.

15

Calor

Hot or High Temperature

Hace calor.

It is hot (outside).

16

Caro(a)

Expensive

Ese carro es muy caro.

That car is very expensive.

17

Cerca

Near

Hay un hotel cerca de aquí?

There is a hotel near here?

18

Cerrado(a)

Closed

La tienda está cerrado.

The store is closed.

19

Correcto(a)

Correct

La respuesta correcta.

The right answer.

20

Cómodo(a)

Comfortable

Estos son mis zapatos cómodos favoritos.

These are my favorite comfortable shoes.

21

Corto(a)

Short

Me gusta la falda corta.

I like the short skirt.

22

Delgado(a)

Thin or Slender.

Ella es alta y delgada.

She is tall and slender.

23

Débil

Weak

Una tanca debil.

A weak fence.

24

Delicioso(a)

Delicious

Este sándwich es delicioso.

This sandwich is delicious.

25

Desafortunado(a)

Unfortunate or Unlucky

Un partido desafortunado.

An unfortunate game.

26

Desagradable

Unpleasant

Un dia desagradable.

An unpleasant day.

27

Difícil

Hard or Difficult

Un examen muy difícil.

A very difficult exam.

28

Divertido(a)

Fun

Una fiesta divertida.

A fun party.

29

Dulce

Sweet

Un pastel de chocolate dulce.

A sweet chocolate cake.

30

Duro(a)

Hard or Solid.

Una roca dura.

A hard rock.

31

Educado(a)

Polite

Ella es educada y lista.

She is polite and smart.

32

Emocionado(a)

Excited

El gato gordo está emocionado por cenar.

The fat cat is excited for dinner.

33

Enfermo(a)

Sick

Estoy enferma hoy (feminine).

I am sick today.

34

Enojado(a)

Angry

El cerdo enojado.

The angry pig.

35

Equivocado(a)

Wrong

La respuesta equivocada.

The wrong answer.

36

Estrecho(a)

Narrow

Esa calle es estrecha.

That street is narrow.

37

Estúpido(a)

Stupid

Esta es una película estúpida.

This is a stupid movie.

38

Excelente

Excellent

¡Este pan es excelente!

This bread is excellent!

39

Fácil

Easy

Esta clase es muy fácil.

This class is very easy.

40

Falso(a)

False

Esa historia es falsa.

That story is false.

41

Feliz

Happy

La vaca californiana está feliz.

The Californian cow is happy.

42

Feo(a)

Ugly

Estos pantalones son feos.

These pants are ugly.

43

Fino(a)

Fine

La porcelana fina.

The fine china.

44

Frio(a)

Cold

¡Hace frio!

It is cold (outside)!

45

Fuerte

Strong

Mi esposa es muy fuerte.

My wife is very strong.

46

Generoso(a)

Generous

Esa gente es generosa.

Those people are generous.

47

Gordo(a)

Fat

Su perro gordo es lindo.

Her fat dog is cute.

48

Gracioso

Funny

¡Mi amigo gracioso está aquí!

My funny friend is here!

49

Grueso(a)

Thick

La sopa en este restaurante es grueso y caliente.

The soup at this restaurant is thick and hot.

50

Hermoso(a)

Beautiful

Las montañas son muy hermosas.

The mountains are beautiful.

51

Holgado(a)

Loose or baggy.

Esta camiseta es demasiado holgada.

This t-shirt is too baggy.

52

Importante

Important

Estos documentos son importantes.

These documents are important.

53

Inteligente

Intelligent

Los osos son inteligentes.

Bears are intelligent.

54

Interesante

Interesting

Esta música es interesante.

This music is interesting.

55

Inútil

Useless

Ese libro es inútil ahora.

That book is useless now.

56

Joven

Young

Una niña joven y bonita.

A young pretty girl.

57

Largo(a)

Long

Tu cabello largo es hermoso.

Your long hair is beautiful.

58

Lejos

Far

Vivo lejos de aquí.

I live far from here.

59

Lento(a)

Slow

Mi computadora lenta no es buena.

My slow computer is no good.

60

Ligero(a)

Light or Lightweight.

Este suéter ligero es muy cómodo.

This lightweight sweater is very comfortable.

61

Limpio(a)

Clean

Todos los platos están limpios.

All the dishes are clean.

62

Lleno(a)

Full

Mis estanterías están llenas.

My bookshelves are full.

63

Loco(a)

Crazy

Me encantan las fiestas locas.

I love crazy parties.

64

Luminoso(a)

Bright

Esas luces luminosas son bonitas.

Those bright (or luminous) lights are pretty.

65

Maleducado(a)

Rude

Esas ratas son maleducadas.

Those rats are rude.

66

Mojado(a)

Wet

Mis calcetines mojados no son cómodos.

My wet socks are uncomfortable.

67

Moreno(a)

Brunette

Soy la única morena en mi familia.

I am the only brunette in my familia.

68

Mucho(a)

Many

Tengo muchos bolígrafos rojos.

I have many red pens.

69

Muerto(a)

Dead

Mis plantas de interior muertas huelen raro.

My dead houseplants smell funny.

70

Nuevo(a)

New

Mi casa nueva está cerca de mi trabajo.

My new house is near my work.

71

Oscuro(a)

Dark

El cielo está oscuro por la noche.

The sky is dark at night.

72

Peligroso(a)

Dangerous

Velas grandes pueden ser peligrosas.

Large candles can be dangerous.

73

Pequeño(a)

Small or Little

La perra pequeña es muy amable.

The little dog is very friendly.

74

Pesado(a)

Heavy

Mi maleta es muy pesada.

My suitcase is very heavy.

75

Pobre

Poor

El pobre pato no tiene pan.

The poor duck does not have bread.

76

Poco

A few or a Small Amount

Hablo un poco de español.

I speak a little Spanish

77

Preocupado(a)

Worried

La oveja preocupada no puede dormir.

The worried sheep cannot sleep.

78

Profundo(a)

Deep

Este es un tema profundo y importante.

This is a deep and important subject.

79

Rápido(a)

Fast

¡Tú puedes leer muy rápido!

You can read very fast!

80

Relajado(a)

Relaxed

El hombre relajado duerme todo el día.

The relaxed man sleeps all day.

81

Rico(a)

Rich, Fancy, or Tasty

¡Que rico galletas!

What delicious cookies!

82

Rubio(a)

Blond or Light-Complected

Mi hermana mayor es rubia.

My older sister is blond.

83

Ruidoso(a)

Loud

Mis vecinos ruidosos son muy maleducados.

My noisy neighbors are very rude.

84

Seco(a)

Dry

La ropa está seca ahora.

The laundry is dry now.

85

Seguro(a)

Safe or Sure

Este lugar es muy seguro.

This place is very safe.

86

Sin importancia

Unimportant or Without Importance

Los documentos sin importancia son basura.

The unimportant documents are trash.

87

Sucio(a)

Dirty

¡Toda mi ropa está sucia!

All my clothes are dirty!

88

Superficial

Shallow

Él es una persona superficial.

He is a shallow person.

89

Tacaño(a)

Stingy or Cheap.

¡Scrooge es tan tacaño!

Scrooge is so stingy!

90

Tarde

Late

Odio la cena tarde.

I hate late dinner.

91

Temprano

Early

Me encantan las carreras tempranas.

I love early runs.

92

Terrible

Terrible

Esta sopa terrible me puso enferma.

That terrible soup made me ill.

93

Tímido(a)

Shy

Mi tímida amiga está tranquila.

My shy friend es quiet.

94

Tranquilo(a)

Quiet or relaxing

Mi hermano menor no es tranquilo.

My little brother is not calm.

95

Triste

Sad

Estoy triste hoy.

I am sad today.

96

Útil

Useful

¡Esta lista de adjetivos es muy útil!

This list of adjectives is very useful!

97

Vacío(a)

Empty

Mi taza vacía está triste.

My empty mug is sad.

98

Verdadero(a)

True or Real

El verdadero rey.

The true king.

99

Viejo(a)

Old

Mis abuelos son muy viejos.

My grandparents are very old.

100

Vivo(a)

Live

La presentación en vivo fue asombrosa.

The live performance was stunning.

Don’t Forget About Colors!

If that isn’t enough adjectives for you, don’t forget that colors are great descriptors as well. You’ll notice that some colors have genders and some don’t. Remember the rules you’ve already learned and you’ll easily be able to use these adjectives. Although you should keep in mind, there may be a few exceptions here as well.

Spanish

English

Examples

Translation

Rojo(a)

Red

Me encantan las flores rojas.

I love red flowers.

Azul(es)

Blue

Por qué el cielo es azul?

Why is the sky blue?

Naranja

Orange

Mi bolígrafo naranja está vacío.

My orange pen is empty.

Gris(es)

Gray

Ese vestido gris es hermoso.

That gray dress is beautiful.

Púrpura

Purple

Esa panda púrpura es enorme!

That purple panda is huge!

Rosa

Pink

¡Los pasteles rosas son los mejores!

Pink cakes are the best!

Verde

Green

Me gusta este delicioso té verde.

I like this delicious green tea.

Blanco

White

Las camisetas blancas están limpias.

The white t-shirts are clean.

Negro(a)

Black

Mi computadora negra es vieja.

My black computer is old.

Marrón

Brown

A esa vaca marrón le gusta la hierba verde.

That brown cow likes green grass.

Amarillo(a)

Yellow

Quiero un carro amarillo.

I want a yellow car.

Did you notice the exceptions? If you said pink and orange, then you’ve been paying attention! Even though rosa and naranja both end with ‘a’, they do not change when used with a masculine noun. Naranja also lacks a plural form. It is simply naranja, no matter what noun it is used with.

Just like in English, naranja refers both to the color orange and the fruit. Interestingly, naranjo is also a Spanish word, but it is strictly the word for orange trees.

Spanish Adjectives: Final Thoughts

Congratulations on making it all the way to the end of this extensive adjective adventure! I hope you found it interesting and useful (interesante y útil). If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, don’t worry, it is a lot to take in. Just remember these simple rules:

  • Adjectives must agree with the noun in both gender and number
  • Adjectives almost always come after the noun standard sentence structure.
  • There are always exceptions to the rules, so be patient with yourself, you’ll learn them in time.

Want to study Spanish in a more comprehensive way but aren’t sure where to start? Why not check out our in-depth language program reviews? We’ve tried all of the most popular (and a few of the less popular) programs so we could provide you with all the information you need to choose the right program for you. No matter whether you are a language newbie or a seasoned polyglot, there is a program out there for you.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and are feeling encouraged to pursue your dream of becoming a fluent Spanish speaker. Keep up the good work and happy learning!

About the author 

Language Throne Team

We are committed to provide the best language learning resources to our visitors. You can rest assured that in languagethrone.com, you would get only the best and nothing else.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
>