LearningPortuguese

Adjectives

To identify an adjective, just check whether the word gives you more information about a noun. Adjectives always relate to nouns (sometimes indirectly – via a pronoun), and usually describe them in some way – e.g. to denote size/colour/texture/quality/etc. Some examples of adjectives: brown; soft; musical; large; expensive; happy.

In English, adjectives normally appear before the noun they describe (e.g., ‘the black shoes’, ‘a small table’). In Portuguese however, (as with other Latin-based languages) the adjective appears after the noun (e.g., ‘os sapatos pretos’, ‘uma mesa pequena’). This takes a bit of getting used to, but is actually more logical, especially when using several adjectives in a row, because you know what noun is being described up-front, whereas in English you have to wait for the sentence to finish before you know what is being spoken about.

Adjectives usually have a gender, and this must ‘agree’ with the gender of the noun being described. So a small house is ‘uma casa pequena’ but a small book is ‘um livro pequeno’.

Examples of Portuguese adjectives

Portuguese

English

Masculine

Feminine

 

barulhento

barulhenta

noisy

cansado

cansada

tired

amarelo

amarela

yellow

congelado

congelada

frozen

morto

morta

dead

fácil

fácil

easy

chato

chata

boring

rápido

rápida

fast

assustador

assustadora

scary

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