Menu
Account

Grammar - Adjectives that Come Before Nouns

This Spanish Medium Review quiz will cover adjectives, especially those that come before nouns. In the Spanish Easy Review quizzes you learned that adjectives come after nouns. As in any language, there are always exceptions. So too does Spanish have exceptions to the rules. The exception here involves adjective that refer to a type of number. For example, each, many, few, some, any, both, the first, the second (etc.), the last and all. In addition, actual numbers such as two dogs in Spanish would be said and written as dos perros.

There are a few other exceptions when it comes to adjective. The adjectives for new, old, big, poor, good and bad can be used either before the noun or after. For example, 'buen gato' is 'good cat' and 'gato bueno' is also 'good cat'. Notice, however, that the word for good changed its spelling depending upon whether it came before the noun or after the noun.

Read More

Please make note of the vocabulary words listed below. The first group will be words that come before a noun and the second group will be words that can come either before or after a noun.

ADJECTIVES THAT COME BEFORE NOUNS

ENGLISH SPANISH
each cada (does not change gender)
many muchos / muchas (changes gender)
few pocos / pocas (changes gender)
both ambos / ambas (changes gender)
first primer /primero / primera (changes gender) (When coming before a masculine noun, the 'o' is dropped off of the end of the word. When it stands alone, as in 'he is the first', then the 'o' would remain).
second segundo / segunda (changes gender)
last último / última (changes gender)

ADJECTIVES THAT COME BEFORE AND AFTER NOUNS

ENGLISH SPANISH
new nuevo / nueva (changes gender)
old viejo / vieja (changes gender) (When used before a noun it means from a long time ago and when used after the noun it refers to age.)
great/big/large gran / grande (When placed before a noun it means great. When placed after a noun it means big or large.)
poor pobre (This spelling stays for either gender. When it is placed before a noun, however, it means ill-fated. When it is place after a noun, it refers to economic or financial condition.)
good buen / bueno / buena (changes gender) (When coming before a masculine noun, the ‘o’ is dropped off. When coming after a masculine noun, the ‘o’ remains. When coming before or after a feminine noun, the ‘a’ remains both ways.)
bad mal / malo / mala (changes gender) (When coming before a masculine noun, the 'o' is dropped off. When coming after a masculine noun, the 'o' remains. When coming before or after a feminine noun, the 'a' remains both ways.)

EXAMPLES

Let’s look at just a few examples to make certain you understand adjectives before and after nouns. Let’s look at the adjective FIRST. If you wanted to say FIRST MAN in Spanish you would say, PRIMER HOMBRE. Notice that since HOMBRE is a masculine word, the adjective dropped off the ‘o’ at the end of primero.

Now let’s look at FIRST HOUSE. In Spanish that would be PRIMERA CASA. The adjective takes on the feminine form and since it is a feminine word, the ‘a’ remains at the end of the word.

Next, let’s look at GREAT/BIG/LARGE. As you learned, this word is spelled slightly different depending upon what you want it to say and its placement with a noun. The Spanish word for big and large is GRANDE. If you want to say it was a BIG BOOK or a LARGE BOOK, you would say, GRANDE LIBRO. But, what if you wanted to say it was a GREAT BOOK? Then you would simply say, GRAN LIBRO. Note that GRANDE can appear either before or after the noun it is describing. However, GRAN generally only appears before the noun it is describing. Rarely would you ever see LIBRO GRAN to say GREAT BOOK. On the other hand, GRANDE LIBRO and LIBRO GRANDE can both be used to say, BIG (or LARGE) BOOK.

Okay, it is now time to test this out in the quiz section below. For each group of words listed in all capitalized letters in the quiz, find the correct Spanish or English words that will mean the same thing. Those words will need to be in the correct order. Be careful to watch for spelling, gender, and plural or singular forms of the word(s).

Read Less
Did you know...

You can play every teacher-written quiz on our site for just £9.95 per month. Click the button to sign up or read more.

Sign up here
  1. They have MANY CHILDREN.
    The Spanish adjective for many is muchos. It is an adjective that refers to a number so it comes before a noun. The first and second answers show it coming after a noun so they are not correct. The Spanish word for children when you do not know if the children are all boys, all girls or a combination of both, is niños. Chicos is Spanish for boys. Therefore, the third answer shows the correct Spanish answer for many children.
  2. The Richardson family bought a NEW HOUSE.
    The Spanish word for house is casa. It does not have an accent mark. The third and last answers show casa with an accent mark so they are not correct. In addition, casa is a feminine word and the last answer shows the adjective in the masculine form. The Spanish adjective for new, when used with a feminine word, is nueva. The second answer has misspelled the word. The first answer shows the correct Spanish translation for new house. It could also be written as casa nueva and still retain the same meaning.
  3. Mr. Dickson is a GREAT TEACHER.
    The second answer is Spanish for good teacher. The last answer is also Spanish for good teacher. The sentence does not say that Mr. Dickson is a good teacher so neither of these answers is correct. The third answer is Spanish for big (or large) teacher. That is not what Mr. Dickson is. The first answer is Spanish for great teacher.
  4. EACH HORSE had its own stall.
    The Spanish adjective for each is cada. As it refers to a number it needs to go before the noun. Each answer has translated this correctly and has put it before the noun. The Spanish word for horse is caballo. This now means that the second answer shows the correct adjective, placement and translation.
  5. Even though Richard’s grandfather is an OLD MAN, he is still very active.
    The Spanish word for man is hombre. This means that the first and second answers can be eliminated as abuelo means grandfather. The Spanish adjective for old is viejo which is shown in each answer. When viejo comes before a noun, rather than referring to age, it refers to a long time ago such as an old friend from childhood. In this sentence it is referring to age. When referring to a person’s age, viejo needs to come after the noun. Therefore, the third answer is not correct as it shows viejo before the noun and the last answer is correct as it shows the adjective after the noun.
  6. Mark is the FIRST LAWYER in the family.
    The Spanish word for lawyer is abogado. This means that the first and last answers can be eliminated as bombero means fireman. The Spanish adjective for first is primero. As it refers to a number it must come before a noun. However, when it comes before a masculine noun, the ‘o’ gets dropped off of the ending of the word making it ‘primer’. If it were to stand on its own, such as ‘he is the first’, then it would be ‘primero’. Therefore, FIRST LAWYER is primer abogado.
  7. Buster was a BAD DOG today.
    The Spanish adjective for bad is malo. However, when it comes before a masculine noun, it is written as mal. The third and last answers have incorrectly kept the form of malo before a noun. The Spanish word for dog is perro. This means that the second answer is not correct as gato is Spanish for cat. The last answer shows cachorro which means puppy. The first answer does show the correct name for dog and the correct spelling for bad when the adjective comes after the noun.
  8. They felt sorry for the POOR WOMAN.
    The Spanish word for woman is mujer. This means that the first and third answers can now be eliminate as dama is Spanish for lady. The Spanish adjective for poor is pobre. However, when it comes before a noun it means ill-fated. When it comes after a noun it means economic or financial condition. In this sentence it is referring to the woman’s fate. This means the adjective needs to come before the noun.
  9. She drove by her OLD SCHOOL.
    The Spanish word for school is escuela. This means that the first and third answers can be eliminated as capilla is Spanish for chapel. The Spanish feminine form adjective for old is vieja which is shown correctly in each answer. When vieja comes after a noun it refers to age. When it comes before a noun it refers to a long time ago. In this sentence the school is from her past or from a long time ago so it should come before the noun.
  10. He was the LAST BEAR to leave the circus tent.
    The Spanish word for bear is oso. This means that the second and last answers can be eliminated as toro means bull. The Spanish adjective for last is último. As it refers to a number it must come before a noun. The first answer shows the adjective after the noun so it is not correct. The third answer does show the correct translation and the correct location of the adjective.

Author: Christine G. Broome

© 2014 Education Quizzes

TJS - Web Design Lincolnshire

Welcome to Education Quizzes
Login to your account