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List of Common Spanish Adjectives

Instructor: Andrea Schuitema

Andrea has taught high school Spanish, college ESL and has a master's degree in educational technology.

Learn how to make friends fast by expressing a variety of thoughts and opinions. These common description words will enable you to talk about yourself, your food, and the people, places and objects around you.

Adjectives at a Meal

Spanish-speaking people are typically very hospitable and are quick to invite guests into their homes for delicious meals. When you find yourself facing a dinner invite, you'll no doubt immediately start dreaming of homemade tostadas and tamales, then break out into a cold sweat as you picture yourself fumbling through conversation during the meal. The thought of sitting through a meal with a group of people that only speaks Spanish can be overwhelming. Have no fear! The truth is, if you can smile and are able to learn a few key adjectives from each of the categories below, you'll know enough Spanish to win someone's heart at dinner. (Reminder: An adjective describes a noun.)

1. Praise the food. This is number one and it's the most important. Take a bite, smile, then say La comida es rica. Es perfecta…. Mmmm. (The food is yummy. It's perfect…. Mmm.) Or if something is spicy, you can say Es picante, (It's spicy) as you reach for your milk, laughing. Your hosts will all laugh, too.

Tostadas ricas y picantes
tostadas

2. For some engaging conversation, chat about famous people or people you both know. Even if you are talking to a person from a different country than you, it's likely that you are both familiar with some of the same famous people. You might find yourself talking about the president, Jennifer Lopez or Michael Jackson. If this happens, you can share your opinion. Es guapo. (He's handsome.) Or Es feo. (He's ugly.) You might find that you both are fans of Enrique Iglesias and end up at a concert together someday! You can also talk about a mutual friend and say Es cariñosa y graciosa. (She's warm/endearing and funny.) Your hosts will think you are sweet for noticing those positive traits.

3. People are proud of where they are from, so it's always a good idea to praise someone's home. Su casa es limpia, cómoda y muy bonita. (Your house is clean, comfortable and very pretty). They'll definitely invite you back.

4. End by sharing your feelings about the dinner. Mi estómago está lleno. (My stomach is full.) Estoy feliz. (I'm happy.) Again, everyone will be pleased.

Amigos felices y llenos
family dinner

Common Adjectives

Describe Food

These adjectives will help you describe, specifically, what you think about the food placed in front of you.

English Spanish Pronunciation Help
hot (temperature) caliente cah·lee·en·tay
hot (spicy) picante pee·khan·tay
cold frío(a) free·oh
yummy/delicious rico(a) ree·coh
bitter amargo(a) ah·mar·go
sweet dulce dool·say
perfect perfecto(a) pair·fec·toh
frozen congelado(a) cone·hay·la·doh
grilled/roasted asado(a) ah·sah·doh
fried frito(a) free·toh
boiled hervido(a) air·vee·doh
gross asqueroso(a) ah·scare·oh·so

Describe Physical Appearance

These adjectives will help you describe what you and the people around you look like.

English Spanish Pronunciation Help
good-looking guapo(a) gwa·poh
cute/pretty lindo(a) leen·doh
pretty bonito(a) boh·nee·toh
beautiful hermoso(a) air·moh·soh
precious precioso(a) preh·see·oh·soh
thin delgado(a) del·gah·doh
fat gordo(a) gore·doh
weak débil day·beel
strong fuerte fwer·tay
tall alto(a) all·toh
short bajo(a) bah·ho

Describe Personality

Use these words to describe what people are like, on the inside. Many of these words can also be used to describe objects, events, or situations.

English Spanish Pronunciation Help
nice simpático(a) sim·pah·tee·coh
mean antipático(a) ahn·tee·pah·tee·coh
friendly/polite amable ah·mah·blay
funny gracioso(a) grah·see·oh·so
boring aburrido(a) ah·buur·ee·doh
fun divertido(a) dee·vair·tee·doh
warm/endearing cariñoso(a) car·ee·nyoh·soh
weird/odd raro(a) rah·roh
fierce feroz fair·ohss
creative creativo(a) cray·ah·tee·voh
brave valiente vaal·ee·en·tay
crazy loco(a) loh·koh
de buena onda nice guy/gal/someone who you think is putting out a good vibe (very common phrase in Mexico) day bwayne·ah own·dah

Describe Emotions or Feelings

It's always helpful to be able to talk about how you are feeling. Likewise, you'll want to be sure to have the necessary vocabulary to ask how others are feeling. You can read a lot in facial expressions and body language, but being able to talk about emotions is vital to building relationships in any language. You might think somoene is angry, for example, when, in fact, he is tired or worried about something.

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