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adjective placement

In English, adjectives usually precede, or go before, the noun they describe. In Spanish, most of the
time, it is the opposite. In general, adjectives follow the nouns they describe.

Me gustan las flores rojas. (I like red flowers.)

Mi hermano es un hombre alto. (My brother is a tall man.)

Prefiero el café negro. (I prefer black coffee.)

There are several exceptions to this rule which are explained below.

Adjective Placement Exceptions
For the following instances, the adjective is placed in front of the noun it describes.
1. Descriptive adjectives that emphasize an essential quality of a noun
An essential quality of a noun is something that is implicitly obvious about a noun even without the
adjective being present.

El valiente león protege su territorio. (The brave lion protects his territory.)

La dulce miel es deliciosa en pan tostado. (Sweet honey is delicious on toast.)

Las verdes hojas del árbol cantan en el viento. (The green leaves of the tree sing in the

2. Limiting adjectives that define a number or amount of a noun, even if it is not specific.

Los niños quieren ocho helados. (The children want eight ice creams.)

Tengo menos dinero que mi hermana. (I have less money than my sister.)

Hay pocas naranjas este verano. (There are few oranges this summer.)

Tienes suficiente tiempo. (You have sufficient time.)

Below you will find a list of common limiting adjectives. Remember that all numbers are limiting
adjectives as well.
Limiting Adjectives


as much
too much

(Juanita is my elderly friend.  Mi hermana es alta. enough various. (These chairs are comfortable. some.  Cien años de soledad es un gran libro. (One Hundred Years of Solitude is a great book.)  Juanita es mi amiga vieja. (Our dog is very friendly.) Below you will find a list of common meaning-changing adjectives with their meanings when they are placed before and after the noun. (My sister is tall.)  Nuestro perro es muy amable. su. a few 3. the adjective carries a more subjective. descriptive meaning.) 4.)  Pablo es mi viejo amigo. Meaning-changing adjectives Some adjectives can mean different things depending on their placement around the noun they modify. none a little sufficient. opinionated meaning. When placed after the noun like normal. the adjective carries a fairly objective.)  Este árbol tiene muchas manzanas.) or demonstrative adjectives (ese.mucho ninguno poco suficiente varios a lot no. tu. etc. este. (I have a big house. When placed before the noun. (This tree has a lot of apples.)  Estas sillas son cómodas. (Pablo is my long-time friend. aquél). Possessive adjectives (mi.)  Yo tengo una casa grande. alto antiguo bajo bueno cierto cualquier diferente distinto dulce grande mismo nuevo pobre propio puro raro simple before the noun top/high-class old/former/ancient of low quality simple/good certain any (of those available) various various good/nice great same another /newlyacquired unfortunate his/her own sheer/ nothing but rare mere after the noun tall antique short good/gentle/generous true/right any (type doesn´t matter) different different sweet big himself/herself new /newlymade poor especially for someone pure strange simple / modest .

sólo triste único varios viejo one dreadful only several former/long-time lonely sad unique different old/aged .