La Concordancia & Plurals

19.10.2016 |

Episode #5 of the course Spanish language basics by Nicole Joslin


¡Ya empezamos el quinto día del curso! We’re starting the fifth day of the course now!

Remember how yesterday I explained the concept of grammatical gender (masculine and feminine nouns) and how I mentioned that we have four different definite articles depending on if the noun is masculine or feminine and singular and plural?

Review them here:

• el (singular and masculine)
• la (singular and feminine)
• los (plural and masculine)
• las (plural and feminine)

This means that when we have plural nouns, we must also consider grammatical gender.

Today, we’re going to talk about how to make nouns plural and how to use adjectives with nouns in Spanish.


How to make nouns plural

Making plural nouns is quite easy in Spanish. Similar to English, for most nouns you just have to add an ‘S’ to the end of the word. This works when the noun ends in a vowel, like:

• los libros (the books)
• las sillas (the chairs)

If a noun ends in a consonant, you should add ‘ES’ to the end to make it plural, like this:

• el profesor (the teacher) / los profesores (the teachers)
• la pared (the wall) / las paredes (the walls)

Another special thing to note is that if a noun ends in ‘Z,’ you should change the plural ending to ‘CES,’ not ‘ZES,’ like this:

• la luz (the light) / las luces (the lights)
• la cruz (the cross) / las cruces (the crosses)

So now that you know the basics of grammatical gender and singular and plural nouns, let’s get into how to use adjectives with nouns.


How to use adjectives with nouns

In Spanish, adjectives must follow the rules of grammatical gender and singular or plural, just like nouns. This is called la concordancianoun/adjective agreement.

In general, adjectives end in ‘O’ and ‘A’ like nouns. There can be adjectives that end in other letters, but we’ll get to those later. Right now, let’s look at some examples of adjectives:

• rojo (masculine form) / roja (feminine form) – red
• loco (masculine form) / loca (feminine form) – crazy

In order to determine if you should use the ‘O’ or ‘A’ ending of the adjective, you should determine the gender of the noun (which you already know how to do!). In Spanish, we should also put the adjective after the noun, rather than in front of it like in English.

Here are some examples:

• el libro rojo (the red book) / la silla roja (the red chair)
• el niño loco (the crazy boy) / la niña loca (the crazy girl)

If a noun is plural, we should also put an ‘S’ at the end, like this:

• los libros rojos (the red books) / las sillas rojas (the red chairs)
• los niños locos (the crazy boys) / las niñas locas (the crazy girls)

That’s quite straightforward, isn’t it?

Now, let’s see some adjectives that don’t end in ‘O’ or ‘A,’ like verde (green) and feliz (happy).

In this case, we only change the adjective if it is singular or plural. There is no change between masculine and feminine forms.

Here are the same examples, but with these different adjectives:

• el libro verde (the green book) / la silla verde (the green chair)
• el niño feliz (the happy boy) / la niña feliz (the happy girl)
• los libros verdes (the green books) / las sillas verdes (the green chairs)
• los niños felices (the happy boys) / las niñas felices (the happy girls)

Note that the same rule applies for adjectives as it does for nouns—if an adjective ends in ‘Z,’ you should change the plural ending to ‘CES,’ not ‘ZES,’ like this:

• feliz / felices

¡Fantástico trabajo! Fantastic work!

Tomorrow, we’re going to be talking about personal pronouns and how to address someone formally versus informally.

Hasta mañana,


Recommended book by Highbrow

“Practice Makes Perfect Complete Spanish Grammar” by Gilda Nissenberg


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