Noun-Adjective Pairing

When talking about a noun, describing it and clarifying it, in English, there‘s not much change to the adjective to make it coherent with the noun.

The adjective must agree with the noun‘s gender and number.

Gender: Let‘s just say there is a tall woman and a tall man. In English, the word “tall”, the adjective, stays the same, even when talking about two different genders. That is because in English there are no “feminine and masculine nouns”.

However, in Spanish, there are. When you are talking about a feminine noun (with the definite article of “la” or “las” and the indefinite article of “una” or “unas”), you also have to match the adjective to its gender.

For example:


Una chica bonita.A pretty girl.
Una playa pequeña.A small beach.
La preparación físicaThe physical preparation.

The same goes for masculine nouns. If you are describing a masculine noun (with the definite article of “el” or “los” and the indefinite article of “un” or “unos”), you have to match the adjective to be masculine, as well.

For example:


Un chico guapo.A handsome boy.
Un parque pequeño.A small park.
La preparación físicaThe physical preparation.

For example, when describing the color of a dog, let‘s just say that it‘s “brown”, the adjective being “brown” doesn‘t change, no matter how many dogs there are. A brown dog, still stays “brown” if there are two, three or twenty dogs. They will be brown dogs.

In Spanish, however, the adjective changes in congruence with the noun. If the noun is plural, the adjective should also be plural. If the noun is singular, the adjective should also be.

If we take the same example of the “brown dog” and translate it into Spanish, you‘ll notice that the adjective also changes.

Whether you are making the adjective masculine or feminine, singular or plural, normally, the only thing that will change is the endings of the verbs.


Un pero marrónA brown dog.
Unos perros marrones.Some brown dogs.

The same rules apply when talking about feminine plural or masculine plural noun-adjective pairing.


Las mesas rojas.The red tables.
Unos perros marrones.Some brown dogs.

An exception to the rule is whenever there is a singular adjective that doesn‘t end in an “-o” or an “-a”, then the feminine and masculine form are the same when describing nouns.

For example:


La casa es grande. El cuarto es grande.The house(f) is big. The room(m) is big.

There is also the case of the “invariable adjective”, which means that it is an adjective that doesn‘t change its form.

Even though you most likely won‘t run into them when you first start learning Spanish, it‘s good to know they exist. Normally, these adjectives are based on uncommon colors or words that come from a different example. An example of this would be the word “web”, which is an English word used in Spanish, as well. “La página web” in its plural form is also “La páginas web”. However, at first, you will not see these normally, so don‘t be too worried about them