Introduction to ¿El estudiante es inteligente?


An adjective modifies a noun; that is, it provides more detail about a noun or pronoun. It might provide a color:

  • the ball
  • the red ball

or a description:

  • the house
  • the magnificent house
  • the house is magnificent (adjective following the linking verb “is”)

Note: adjectives only modify nouns or pronouns.  To modify verbs, we use adverbs. Compare:

  • You speak well. (adverb modifying the verb speak)
  • That was a good speech. (adjective modifying the noun speech)

We’ll get to Spanish adverbs in later chapters. For more about adjectives and adverbs in English, you can visit the style guide here.

As we’ll see, adjectives in Spanish behave slightly differently from those in English. First, they’re often placed after the noun they modify: the white house, la casa blanca. Also, the endings of adjectives have to match the gender and number of the noun: casa blanca, el libro blanco, los libros blancos, casas blancasWe’ll get to all that in the pages ahead!