Relative Adjectives in Spanish


Mastering the Spanish Relative Adjectives : “Los Adjetivos Relativos”

Relative adjectives in Spanish help you describe things in more detail, making your sentences clearer and more interesting.

Here’s the simple scoop on relative adjectives in Spanish:

  • Think of them as bridges. They connect a noun you already mentioned (like “book” or “teacher”) to a little extra info about it.
  • There are only two main ones: “Cuyo” and “Cuanto.”
    • Cuyo means “whose” and describes who owns something. But unlike English, it changes form depending on the owned thing, not the owner!
      • Example: La casa cuya ventana está rota es la azul. (The house whose window is broken is the blue one.) (“Cuyo” agrees with “ventana” – feminine singular)
    • Cuanto means “as much as” or “as many as.” It describes the amount of something.
      • Example: Compré cuantas manzanas pude. (I bought as many apples as I could.) (“Cuantas” agrees with “manzanas” – feminine plural)
  • Placement matters! Put the relative adjective before the noun it describes in the extra info part (the relative clause).
    • Example: Leí un libro interesante cuyo final me sorprendió. (I read an interesting book whose ending surprised me.)
  • Use commas! Separate the extra info part (with the relative adjective) from the main sentence with commas for clarity.
    • Example: Visité un museo, cuyas obras de arte eran impresionantes. (I visited a museum, whose artworks were impressive.)

Matching Game: Gender and Number Agreement

Here’s a handy chart to help you remember how “cuyo” and “cuanto” change depending on the gender (masculine/feminine) and number (singular/plural) of the noun they describe:

Matching Mania!Masculine SingularFeminine SingularMasculine PluralFeminine Plural

Ready to practice? Try these sentences!

  • La profesora cuya clase es divertida explica muy bien. (The teacher whose class is fun explains very well.)
  • Te prestaré cuanto dinero te haga falta. (I’ll lend you as much money as you need.)
  • Las películas que vimos anoche fueron de terror. (The movies that we saw last night were horror movies.) (This uses “que” for a more casual tone.)