Noun/Adjective Agreement

Spanish Tutorial

Noun/Adjective Agreement

Intro

All nouns and adjectives in Spanish have a gender: masculine and feminine. All nouns in Spanish have an article in front of them to determine the gender. Adjectives go after the nouns and must agree with the article. El is a masculine article and it means the. For example El chico = The boy. La is a feminine article and means the. For example la chica = the girl. Sometimes if a noun ends in a it is masculine and if it ends in o it is feminine. For example el mapa (the map) is masculine. It is masculine because the masculine article el is in front of it.

Adjectives in Spanish always go after the noun. Adjectives that end in an -o are masculine and adjectives that end in an -a are feminine. Adjectives have to agree in gender. To determine the gender of the adjective, you have to look at the article. The pretty girl is La chica bonita. La is feminine so bonita has to end in an -a.
The handsome boy would be El chico guapo. Guapo ends in an -o because of el. We could say la chica guapa (the good-looking girl). Notice that the -o in guapo changes to an -a because la is feminine, chica matches its article and guapa ends in an -a to agree with the article. If the noun doesn’t match the article you still have to determine the gender of the adjective by the article. For example, el dia bonito (the pretty day) is masculine. El is masculine, dia – even though it ends in an -a is masculine because of el, so bonito (pretty) has to end in an -o to agree with the phrase.

Here is the formula for noun/adjective agreement in Spanish:
Article + Noun + Adjective

Singular definite articles are:
el = the (maculine)

la = the (feminine)

Here are some exaples of this formula:
1. El chico bajo – The short boy
2. La chica baja – The short girl
3. El vestido rojo – The red dress
4. La blusa amarilla – The yellow blouse
5. El apartamento blanco – The white apartment
6. La casa blanca – The white house

Sample Problem

Fill in the blank with the correct adjective to match the noun.

1. La camiseta ______
a. rojo b. roja

2. El chico _____
a. alto b. alta

3. El sofa _____
a. rosado b. rosada

Solution

1. b. roja – The article la is feminine. The adjective has to end in an -a to agree

2. a. alto – The article el is masculine. The adjective has to end in an -o to agree

3. a- rosado – The article el is masculine. The adjective has to end in an -o to agree



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