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Adjectives - Adjetivos

Adjectives

An adjective is word that attributes a quality or characteristic for a noun modifying it.

Compare:

  • O carro – the car

O carro pequeno – the small car. (Observe that the word “pequeno” – small – modifies the noun “carro” – car. Being “pequeno” is a characteristic of the car.)

 

  • A casa – the house

A casa suja – the dirty house. (Observe that the word “suja” – dirty – modifies the noun “casa” – house. Being “suja” is a quality of the house.)

 

The adjective may attribute a concrete or abstract quality to the noun, it may qualify the noun or indicate quantity.

Compare:

  • A lição fácil – The easy lesson. (Observe that the word “fácil” – easy – modifies the noun “lição” – lesson. Being “fácil” is an abstract quality of the lesson)
  • A casa branca– the white house. (Observe that the word “branca” – white – modifies the noun “casa” – house. Being “white” is a concrete quality of the house.)
  • Poucas canetas – few pens. (Observe that the word “poucas” – few – quantifies the noun “canetas” – pens)

 

The adjective may have the same termination when it refers to masculine and feminine words. Observe in the examples below that the adjective remains unchanged even when it refers to a feminine word.

Examples:

  • O homem forte – The strong man
  • A mulher forte – The strong woman

Usually adjectives ending in “e” and “ista” have just one termination for both genders.

More examples:

  • O menino inteligente – The intelligent boy
  • A menina inteligente – The intelligent girl

 

  • O professor idealista – The idealist teacher
  • A professora idealista – The idealist teacher.

 

The adjective may have different terminations according to each gender. Adjectives ending in “o” can be either masculine or neutral. To compose the feminine form of adjectives ending in “o” just change the “o” for the letter “a”

Examples: 

  • O menino alto – The tall boy
  • A menina alta – The tall girl

The adjective agrees in number with the noun. See the examples below:

Compare:

  • O  menino inteligente – the intelligent boy. (singular)
  • Os meninos inteligentes – the intelligent boys. (plural)

 

  • A mesa grande – The big table. (singular)
  • As mesas grandes – the big tables.(plura)

 

Usually in Portuguese the adjective follows the noun.

Examples:

  • A mulher bonita – The beautiful woman
  • O carro pequeno – The small car

But in some cases the adjective may precede the noun. For these cases the adjective is more emphatic and may attribute a metaphoric quality to the noun.

Compare:

  • Uma velha amiga – a longtime friend.
  • Una amiga velha – an old friend.

 

If you want to listen to the pronunciation of the adjectives below and know more adjectives, go to the vocabulary section of the website and click Adjectives

 

 

Adjective

Translation

Alto(a)

Tall

Baixo(a)

Low

Bom / Boa

Good

Quente

Hot

Cansado(a)

Tired

Curto(a)

Short

Fraco(a)

Weak

Magro (a)

Thin

Fácil

Easy

Feio(a)

Ugly

Frio(a)

Cold

Forte

Strong

Grande

Big

Bonito (a)

Beautiful

Honesto (a)

Honest

Inteligente

Intelligent

Longo(a)

Long

Louco(a)

Crazy

Novo(a)

new

Pequeno(a)

Small

Pobre

Poor

Responsável

Responsible

Rico(a)

Rich

Delicioso(a)

Delicious

Triste

Sad

Velho(a)

Old