Forming the plural of masculine and feminine adjectives ending in -z and -l

Most Spanish adjectives ending in -z or -l, such as feliz (happy) and leal (loyal) change to -es endings in the plural form. Note however that the letter -z, also changes to -c-:

Feliz -> Felices
Leal  -> Leales
These adjectives are the same in both masculine and femine forms, they only change from singular to plural, but as ever there is an exception (see below).
Take a look and listen to these examples:

Mi abuelo es muy feliz.
My grandfather is very happy.

Mis abuelos son muy felices
My grandfathers are very happy.

Mis abuelas son muy felices.
My grandmothers are very happy.

Tienes un alumno muy capaz.
You have a very capable male student.

Tienes alumnos muy capaces.
You have very capable male students.

Tienes alumnas muy capaces.
You have very capable female students.

Este documento es legal.
This document is legal.

Estos documentos son legales.
These documents are legal.

Las viviendas son legales.
The buildings are legal.

Tenemos un trabajador leal en la empresa.
We have a loyal male employee in the company.

Tenemos trabajadores leales en la empresa.
We have loyal male employees in the company.

Tenemos trabajadoras leales en la empresa.
We have loyal female employees in the company.

Notice how the form does not change when referring to a masculine noun or a feminine noun in plural.

Be careful!
There are a couple exceptions to this rule which are:
  1. The adjective "andaluz" (Andalusian)

    El chico andaluz. (The Andalusian boy)
    La chica andaluza. (The Andalusian girl)
    Los chicos andaluces. (The Andalusian boys)
    Las chicas andaluzas.  (The Andalusian girls)

     

  2. The adjective "español" (Spanish)

    El chico español (The Spanish boy)
    La chica española (The Spanish girl)
    Los chicos españoles (The Spanish boys)
    Las chicas españolas (The Spanish girls) 

These examples do not follow either of the rules described above:

  • the -es ending change to an -as ending when it is feminine plural
  • there are two different singular forms (-za and -la)

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Mis abuelas son muy felices.
My grandmothers are very happy.


Este documento es legal.
This document is legal.


Las viviendas son legales.
The buildings are legal.


Mis abuelos son muy felices
My grandfathers are very happy.


Tienes un alumno muy capaz.
You have a very capable male student.


Estos documentos son legales.
These documents are legal.


Mi abuelo es muy feliz.
My grandfather is very happy.


Tienes alumnas muy capaces.
You have very capable female students.


Tenemos trabajadoras leales en la empresa.
We have loyal female employees in the company.


Tienes alumnos muy capaces.
You have very capable male students.


Tenemos un trabajador leal en la empresa.
We have a loyal male employee in the company.


Tenemos trabajadores leales en la empresa.
We have loyal male employees in the company.


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