The placement of Spanish adjectives strictly relies on the information they provide about the noun they modify.
Unlike English, Spanish adjectives are generally placed after the noun.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
Some adjective categories do not follow the noun they modify:
Limiting adjectives indicate numbers and amounts.
Descriptive adjectives which put the stress on essential features are placed before the noun.
La valiente leona protege a sus cachorros. (The brave lioness protect her cubs.)
Some adjectives change meaning according to their placement:
|Adjective||Before the noun||After the noun|
|bajo||of low quality||short|
|bueno||simple / good||gentle / generous|
|cierto||certain||true / right|
|dulce||good / nice||sweet|
|mismo||same||himself / herself|
|nuevo||newly acquired||newly made|
|proprio||his / her own||especially for someone|
|simple||mere||simple / modest|
|viejo||long-term||old / aged|
When placed before the noun, some adjectives have shortened forms. This change only affects the masculine form of adjectives, which tend to drop the -o when are followed by a masculine noun.
|alguno (some)||algún||algún vaso (some glass)|
|bueno (good)||buen||buen amigo (good friend)|
|malo (bad)||mal||mal ejemplo (bad example)|
|ninguno (no, not any)||ningún||ningún hombre (no man)|
|primero (first)||primer||el primer año (the first year)|
|Santo (Saint)||San||San Francisco|
|tercero (third)||tercer||el tercer capítulo (the third chapter)|
|uno (a, an, one)||un||un gato ( a cat)|
Ciento appears in number 101 and higher, while the shortened form cien is used for the number one hundred before a plural noun.
More than one adjective can modify a noun.
1. Two or more adjectives may follow the noun and they are generally linked by a conjuction or separated by a comma.
2. In case of shortened forms or an adjective that has a different meaning if placed before or after the noun, the adjective which precedes the noun will remain in place:
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