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Spanish Descriptive Adjectives

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

Once you finish this lesson, you will be able to describe any person, animal, or object. The lesson includes the most common descriptive words and some practice so you get to use your new vocabulary right away.

Why Learn to Describe

John studies Spanish on a daily basis and now he gets to practice with a Spanish-speaking friend. However, lately he gets stuck because he wants to tell his friend about family members, pets, and things in general. He just does not have the words to describe those nouns. He joins you in this lesson to learn the descriptive adjectives he also needs.

You are luckier than John because you get to learn descriptive adjectives before you are stuck without the words you need. We describe all the time, and this is the main reason why we are stuck when we don't know descriptive adjectives. Let's begin this adventure and look at types of description!

Describe Size

  • enorme (huge, pronounced: eh-nohr-meh)
  • grande (big, pronounced: grahn-deh)
  • pequeño (small or little, pronounced: peh-keh-nyo). For female nouns, you say pequeña
  • mediano (average size, pronounced: meh-deeah-noh). For female nouns, you say mediana
  • diminuto (tiny, pronounced: dee-mee-noo-toh) For female nouns, you say diminuta. Do not use this description for people because, in Spanish, 'tiny' does not apply to people.
  • gordo (fat, pronounced: gohr-doh). For female nouns, you say gorda.
  • delgado (thin, pronounced: dehl-gah-doh). For female nouns, you say delgada..
  • flaco (skinny, pronounced: flah-koh). For female nouns, you say flaca.

Describe Height

  • alto (tall, pronounced: ahl-toh). For female nouns, you say alta.
  • bajo (short, pronounced: bah-hoh). For female nouns, you say baja.
  • mediano (average height, pronounced: meh-deeah-noh). For female nouns, you say mediana

Describe Color

  • amarillo (yellow, pronounced: ah-mah-ree-yoh). For female nouns, you say amarilla.
  • azul (blue, pronounced: ah-sool).
  • rojo (red, pronounced: roh-hoh). For female nouns, you say roja.
  • blanco (white, pronounced: blahn-koh). For female nouns, you say blanca.
  • negro (black, pronounced: neh-groh). For female nouns, you say negra.
  • gris (gray, pronounced: grees).
  • marrón (brown, pronounced: mahr-rohn)
  • verde (green, pronounced: behr-deh)
  • anaranjado (orange, pronounced: ah-nah-rahn-hah-doh). For female nouns, you say anaranjada.
  • rosado (pink, pronounced: roh-sah-doh). For female nouns, you say rosada.
  • púrpura / morado (purple, pronounced: poor-poo-rah / moh-rah-doh). Either one is fine and púrpura is both for male and female nouns whereas morada is for female nouns.

Describe Appearance

  • guapo (handsome, pronounced: gooah-poh). For pretty, you say guapa.
  • joven (young, pronounced: hoh-behn).
  • lindo (cute, pronounced: leen-doh). For female nouns, you say linda.
  • elegante (elegant, pronounced: eh-leh-gahn-teh).
  • limpio (clean, pronounced: leem-peeoh). For female nouns, you say limpia.
  • sucio (dirty, pronounced: soo-seeoh). For female nouns, you say sucia.
  • feo (ugly, pronounced: feh-oh). For female nouns, you say fea.
  • nuevo (new, pronounced: nooeh-boh). For female nouns, you say nueva.
  • viejo (old, pronounced: bee-eh-hoh). For female nouns, you say vieja.

Describe Personality Aspects

  • responsable (responsible, pronounced: rehs-pohn-sah-bleh).
  • irresponsable (irresponsible, pronounced: ee-rehs-pohn-sah-bleh).
  • organizado (organized, pronounced: ohr-gah-nee-sah-doh). For female nouns, you say organizada.
  • desorganizado (disorganized, pronounced: dehs-ohr-gah-nee-sah-doh). For female nouns, you say desorganizada.
  • paciente (patient, pronounced: pah-see-ehn-teh).
  • impaciente (impatient, pronounced: eem-pah-see-ehn-teh).
  • bueno (good, pronounced: booeh-noh). For female nouns, you say buena.
  • malo (mean, pronounced: mah-loh). For female nouns, you say mala.
  • chistoso (funny, pronounced: chees-toh-soh). For female nouns, you say chistosa.
  • serio (serious, pronounced: seh-reeoh). For female nouns, you say seria.
  • vago (lazy, pronounced: bah-goh). For female nouns, you say vaga.
  • trabajador (hard-working, pronounced: trah-bah-hah-dohr). For females, you say trabajadora.
  • inteligente (intelligent or smart, pronounced: een-teh-lee-hen-teh).

Describe Emotions and Physical States

  • feliz (happy, pronounced: feh-lees).
  • triste (sad, pronounced: trees-teh).
  • enojado (angry, pronounced: eh-noh-hah-doh).
  • nervioso (nervous, pronounced: nehr-beeoh-soh).
  • cansado (tired, pronounced: kahn-sah-doh).
  • enfermo (sick, pronounced: ehn-fehr-moh).

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