Position of Adjectives in Spanish [+12 Examples & Quiz]

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In this Spanish grammar lesson, you will learn about the position of adjectives in Spanish.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • the position of adjectives in Spanish
  • how the adjectives are used in sentences
  • how you can quiz yourself on the position of adjectives in Spanish
  • how you can practice with flashcards on the position of adjectives in Spanish
  • how and why you should use the courses of Language Atlas to learn Spanish

By the end of the lesson you will know all about how to position of adjectives in Spanish!

Table of Contents

Introduction to Position of Adjectives in Spanish

You can place adjectives either before or after the noun they modify.

Noun + Adjective

Usually, adjectives are placed after nouns in Spanish,

Here are some examples:

Vi una casa enorme.

I saw a huge house.

Busca detrás de la puerta amarilla.

Look behind the yellow door.

Necesitamos una mesa resistente.

We need a sturdy table.

Tu padre siempre ha sido un hombre generoso.

Your father has always been a generous man.

Adjective + Noun

Sometimes you may find adjectives that are placed before a noun. This will be done to emphasize that adjective.

These constructions are rare in spoken Spanish, but this is generally done in literature.

Have a look at some examples:

Es un interesante ejemplo de evolución.

It is an interesting example of evolution.

El cruel asesinato de aquel joven conmocionó a los incrédulos vecinos.

The cruel murder of the young man shocked the incredulous neighbours.

Numerical adjectives are generally also placed before nouns, however they can also be placed after nouns.

La primera novela fue increíble

The first novel was incredible.

La novela primera fue increíble

The first novel was incredible.

Adjectives That Change Their Meaning Depending On Their Placement

adjectivemeaning before a nounmeaning after a noun
altotop/excessive/high classtall
antiguoancient/old/formerantique
bajoof low qualityshort
buenogood/simplegenerous/good/gentle
ciertocertainsure
curiosostrangecurious
grandegreatbig
nuevoanother/newly acquirednew/newly-made
pobreunfortunatepoor
próximonext (in order)next (soon/coming)
purosimply/justfresh/pure
rarorarestrange
simplemodest/humblesimple
soloonly/singlelonely/alone
tristedreadfulsad
viejolong-time/formerold/aged
únicosingle/oneunique
verdaderoreal (for emphasis)true

There are certain adjectives in Spanish that change their meaning depending on their placement.

So the meaning may be different if an adjective is before a noun compared to when it is after a noun.

Here are some examples:

Carmen era una mujer grande.

Carmen was a big woman.

Carmen era una gran mujer.

Carmen was a great woman.

Federico era una persona curiosa.

Federico was a curious person. (curious)

Federico era una curiosa persona.

Federico was a peculiar person. (strange)

Example Sentences with The Position of Adjectives in Spanish

This section of the lesson on the position of adjectives in Spanish is about seeing the adjectives used in sentences.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding of the position of adjectives in Spanish through examples.

Vi una casa enorme.

I saw a huge house.

Busca detrás de la puerta amarilla.

Look behind the yellow door.

Necesitamos una mesa resistente.

We need a sturdy table.

Tu padre siempre ha sido un hombre generoso.

Your father has always been a generous man.

Es un interesante ejemplo de evolución.

It is an interesting example of evolution.

El cruel asesinato de aquel joven conmocionó a los incrédulos vecinos.

The cruel murder of the young man shocked the incredulous neighbours.

La novela primera fue increíble

The first novel was incredible.

La primera novela fue increíble

The first novel was incredible.

Carmen era una mujer grande.

Carmen was a big woman.

Carmen era una gran mujer.

Carmen was a great woman.

Federico era una persona curiosa.

Federico was a curious person. (curious)

Federico era una curiosa persona.

Federico was a peculiar person. (strange)

Quiz Yourself on The Position of Adjectives in Spanish

At the end of every lesson you can do a small quiz.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want!

How to Practice With Flashcards for This Lesson

Using flashcards is an absolute necessity when it comes to learning a language!

It is the best way to memorize what you learn, you can personalize your progression because it adapts to your actions, and all flashcards have audio to improve your hearing and pronunciation.

Please read our article on how to learn a new language for more information on flashcards and the best way to learn a new language.

There are two ways to practice with Flashcards for this lesson.

  1. Anki
  2. The Flashcards in our Courses

Anki is a free software with which you can create and practice flashcards.

After you have downloaded Anki for free, you can get our Spanish B2 Anki Deck.

This Anki Deck contains 1,376 flashcards with which you can practice absolutely everything for Spanish B2.

All the flashcards have text, images, explanations, and audio.

You can also use our courses that have flashcards integrated alongside lessons with audio, quizzes and much more!

However, I am sure you are wondering, what are your courses, and why should I take them?

The Courses of Language Atlas

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Using my experience and by doing research I created Language Atlas, a platform where people can learn French and Spanish in the most effective and efficient way.

I created free lessons and quizzes so that there would always be an easy and accessible way for people to learn or brush up on their language skills.

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The courses of Language Atlas have:

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