Comprehension - Putting Nouns and Adjectives Together

This Spanish Easy Review comprehension quiz challenges you on putting nouns and adjectives together. Around this point of learning Spanish many people feel that they know a lot of words but they don’t know what to do with them. Part of the process of knowing what to do with words is understanding how words relate to each other. This process is also true in English. As you may recall from your English lessons, a noun is a person, place or thing and an adjective is a word that describes, identifies or further defines a noun or a pronoun. For example, let’s look at a car. The car is the noun as it is a thing. Now let’s say it’s a red car.

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Red is an adjective as it describes the car. In English, the adjective will often come before the noun but not always. For example, you could say, “His car is red.” In this case, the adjective comes after the noun. In Spanish, however, the adjective will always come after the noun.

Looking at the example above, in Spanish, 'red car' would be written as either 'coche de rojo' or 'coche rojo' (car of red). It would never be written as 'rojo coche'. If you look at the Spanish Easy Review quiz titled The Role of the Word 'Of' it will explain the importance of the word 'de' (of) when linking a noun to an adjective. In that quiz it only linked colors with a noun.

Because your vocabulary now includes many verbs and you have learned how to conjugate those verbs in the present tense, this test is going to challenge you on putting nouns and adjectives together while using verbs. Again, let’s look at the example given above, i.e. 'His car is red'. In Spanish, this would be written out as, 'Su coche es rojo'. There are many things going on here such as, did you remember the word for 'his'? Did you remember which 'to be' verb to use (the permanent or temporary) and did you remember the word for 'red'?

Next, how would you say, 'It is a red car'? In Spanish, it would be said as, 'Es un coche de rojo.' As the object/noun is a thing it uses the singular, formal 'you', as well as the 'he/she' conjugated verb ending. The 'car' would be 'it' and the verb ending for the verb 'ser' would be 'es'.

It might still seem a little confusing but after doing a couple of the sentences below, you should have a better understanding of the process of putting together nouns and adjectives in Spanish, especially when you throw a verb into the mix. Don’t rush. Look at each sentence carefully and then see if you can locate the correct Spanish answer that reflects what the given English sentence is saying.

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  1. She has blond hair.
    One of the first things you can do is determine the proper verb. The fist, second and third answers have used either ser or estar, i.e., the to be verbs. However, the sentence says: she has. That means the verb is derived from 'to have' or 'tener'. The leaves the final answer which does translate as: 'She has blond hair.'
  2. He likes yellow eggs.
    As the pronoun given is 'he', you can quickly eliminate the first answer as it shows 'she'. Next, you know that the adjective will never be placed before the noun. The last answer shows the adjective before the noun so it is not correct. That leaves the second and third answers which both seem correct except for one small thing - the sentence says 'eggs' which is plural so the Spanish word also needs to be plural. In addition, as eggs is plural, so too must the adjective be plural. The second answer shows the correct translation and order of the noun and adjective.
  3. The bed is brown.
    The first thing here is to determine the Spanish word for bed. Silla means chair, mesa means table and alfombra means carpet. This now means that the second, third and last answers are all incorrect. In addition, the third and last answers do not have the correct color. The Spanish word for bed is cama. The first answer has the correct Spanish translation.
  4. They drink blue water.
    Each answer here shows the correct translation for blue water so you will need to know the correct conjugated form of the verb 'to drink'. The first answer is the plural, familiar 'you' so it is not correct. The second answer is the singular, formal 'you' and/or 'he/she' so it, too, is not correct. The last answer is the conjugated form for 'we drink' which means it is also not correct. That leaves the third answer which shows the correct Spanish translation for the sentence.
  5. We love green candy.
    Each answer shows the correct order of how to say green candy. However, the first answer has the green candy before the verb which, in this case, translates as 'Green candy they love.' It is, therefore, not correct. To know how to conjugate the verb 'to love' you need to know what kind of a verb it is, i.e. an 'ar', 'er' or 'ir' verb. It is an 'ar' verb as the verb 'to love' in Spanish is 'amar'. Now you should be able to determine which answer has conjugated the verb correctly. The conjugated ending for 'we' with an 'ar' verb is 'amos'. This means you can eliminate the second and third answers. The last answer shows the correct Spanish translation.
  6. I have white bread.
    First look at the word/noun bread. In Spanish it is 'pan' which is correct in each answer. However, is 'pan' a masculine word or a feminine word? It is a masculine word, i.e. el pan. Therefore, the adjective must also be masculine. The second and last answers show the adjective as feminine so they can be eliminated. Next, focus on how the verb 'to have' is conjugated. Remember, it is an irregular verb. The second and third answers are both incorrect verb spellings while the last answer is conjugated as 'you/he/she' has so it, too, is not correct. The first answer shows the correct Spanish translation of the sentence given.
  7. The bread is white.
    The first thing is to remember whether the noun for bread (Spanish 'pan') is masculine or feminine. As it is a masculine noun the adjective must also reflect this. The first and last answers have used the feminine form of the adjective so they are not correct. In addition, the first answer has used the wrong form of the verb 'to be'. It has used the temporary condition where, in this case, the permanent condition needs to be used. The same is true for the third answer. That leaves the second answer which shows the correct Spanish translation, including verb and proper adjective gender.
  8. Grandfather eats pink turkey.
    Here you need to be aware of many different words. First, the Spanish word for turkey is 'pavo' which is a masculine word. The second and last answers have incorrectly spelled the word for turkey and they show it as a feminine word which, again, is not correct. The first answer translates as 'My grandfather eats pink turkey.' However, that is not what the sentence says so it is not correct. The third answer however, does translate as 'Grandfather eats pink turkey.'
  9. The dog is orange.
    Each answer has correctly translated 'the dog'. Now look at the verb. Is the color of the dog permanent or temporary? As it is permanent, the 'to be' verb to be used would be 'ser' which now means you can eliminate the first and third answers. Now you need to know the Spanish word for orange. It is 'naranja'. Most words that end in an 'a' are feminine but not all. In this case, naranja is neutral so it is used with both masculine and feminine nouns. Its ending does not change to reflect a masculine noun which means that both the second and third answers are incorrect. That leaves the last answer which does show the correct Spanish translation.
  10. It is a purple lamp.
    In each answer the correct conjugated verb is used for 'it is'. The correct order is also shown in each answer for purple lamp. The last thing to focus on is the word 'a'. The third answer shows 'la' which is the feminine form of the word 'the' so it is not correct. The last answer shows 'de' which means 'of' so it, too, is not correct. The first and second answers show the Spanish word for 'a' but the second answer shows the masculine form of the word, whereas the first answer shows the feminine form. The word 'lamp' is a feminine word which means the first answer shows the correct translation of the sentence.

Author: Christine G. Broome

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