Lesson Objectives:In this lesson, we will discuss the different types of adjectives and their placement relative to the noun. We will also learn some more vocabulary related to clothing.
Vocabulary:la gorra - the cap (as in a baseball cap)
los guantes - the gloves
la chaqueta - the jacket
las botas - the boots
el traje de baño - the swimsuit
las gafas de sol - the sunglasses
el suéter - the sweater
los pantalones cortos - the shorts
la estación - the season (as in season of the year)
Let's talk a bit about the placement of adjectives in relation to the noun.
Possessive adjectives, articles, and adjectives of quantity all come BEFORE the noun.
"un chico". a boy. Un is an article. It comes before chico, the noun.
"su carro". his/her/or your car. 'su' is a possessive adjective. It comes before carro, the noun.
"quince plumas". 15 feathers. 'quince' is a number so it comes before.
"mucha lluvia". much rain. Much is an adjective of quantity therefore it comes before.
As you can see, the placement in the examples above is very straightforward-it's just like in English.
Descriptive adjectives usually come AFTER the noun that they describe.
"la casa nueva". The new house. "new" comes after "house."
"las tortugas grandes". The big turtles. "big" comes after "turtles."
You just learned that Descriptive Adjectives usually come AFTER the noun. But sometimes, descriptive adjectives can be placed BEFORE the noun, either for emphasis or for a slightly different connotation.
We will look at three of the main examples of where putting the adjective before the noun results in a different meaning.
Grande means 'big', but if you're dealing with a singular noun, you can place it BEFORE. For instance, 'un gran problema', or 'la gran ciudad.'
When placed in front of the noun like this, 'Gran' has a meaning more similar to 'great' or 'grand'. A grand problem, the great city. Notice that this only works because problema and ciudad are singular.
Bueno and malo can also be placed in front of the noun. If placed in front of a masculine, singular noun, drop the 'o'. 'un buen chico', a good boy; 'un mal nino', a bad boy.
Let's look at some more examples:
Él es un gran hombre. He is a great man.
Usted es una buena estudiante. You are a good student.
Él es un mal profesor. He is a bad professor. Notice that since "profesor" is masculine, 'malo' changed to 'mal' when placed in front. It lost the 'o'.
Tú eres un buen hijo. You are a good son. Again, we dropped the 'o' in bueno since it's in front of a masculine, singular noun. Remember, this rule only applies to 'bueno' and 'malo.'
Ella es una mala persona. She is a bad person.
Leticia es una gran mujer. Leticia is a great woman.