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Forming the singular and plural of adjectives ending in -án, ón, -or

Most Spanish adjectives that end in -ón, -án, or -or form their singular feminine by adding -a, and losing their written accent [´]

Un hombre simplón (A foolish man)

Una mujer simplona (A foolish woman)

Un hombre holgazán (A lazy man)

Una mujer holgazana  (A lazy woman)

To form their plurals they follow this rule:

For masculine plural add -es to the singular masculine form.
For feminine plural add -s to the singular feminine form.
See how it changes from singular to plural:
Un hombre simplón (A foolish man)
Unos hombres simplones (some foolish men)
Una mujer simplona (A foolish woman)

Unas mujeres simplonas (some foolish women)

Un hombre holgazán (A lazy man)
Unos hombres holgazanes (Some lazy men)
Una mujer holgazana (A lazy woman)

Unas mujeres holgazanas (Some lazy women)

Notice how the plurals do not have an accent [´]

Un hombre trabajador (A hardworking man)
Unos hombres trabajadores (Some hardworking men)
Una mujer trabajadora (A hardworking woman)

Unas mujeres trabajadoras (Some hardworking women)

This particular group of adjectives ending in -or, that apply this rule, are those that derive from a verb (e.g trabajador derives from verb trabajar). There are other adjectives ending in -r that follow a different rule. See also Forming comparative adjectives mayor/menor/mejor/peor.

Here are more examples:

¡Qué cabezón eres, Pedro! Tus hermanas no son tan cabezonas.
How stubborn you can be, Pedro! Your sisters are not so stubborn.

Ramiro es haragán, aunque sus primos son más haraganes.
Ramiro is lazy, although his cousins are more lazy.

Matías es trabajador pero vosotros no sois trabajadores.
Matías is hardworking but you are not hardworking.

Cristina es muy simplona y sus hermanas también son simplonas.
Cristina is very foolish and her sisters are also foolish.

Carmina es una chica trabajadora. Sus compañeras no son tan trabajadoras.
Carmina is a hardworking girl. Her female colleagues are not so hardworking.

An exception to this rule is adjective marrón (brown) which only has two forms:

Singular masculine and feminine: marrón

He comprado un bolso marrón. (I have bought a brown handbag.)

He comprado una camisa marrón . (I have bought a brown shirt.)

Plural masculine and feminine: marrones

He comprado unos bolsos marrones. (I have bought some brown handbags.)

He comprado unas camisas marrones . (I have bought some brown shirts.)

 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

¡Qué cabezón eres, Pedro! Tus hermanas no son tan cabezonas.
How stubborn you can be, Pedro! Your sisters are not so stubborn.


Carmina es una chica trabajadora. Sus compañeras no son tan trabajadoras.
Carmina is a hardworking girl. Her female colleagues are not so hardworking.


Cristina es muy simplona y sus hermanas también son simplonas.
Cristina is very foolish and her sisters are also foolish.


Matías es trabajador pero vosotros no sois trabajadores.
Matías is hardworking but you are not hardworking.


Ramiro es haragán, aunque sus primos son más haraganes.
Ramiro is lazy, although his cousins are more lazy.


Q&A

allison

Kwiziq community member

30 April 2018

1 reply

And feminine singular is what?

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

1 May 2018

1/05/18

Hola Allison,


We had another lesson that was dealing with "how to form the singular feminine" of this type of adjectives, that's why you couldn't see it in that lesson about the plurals. However, we have actually modified the lesson and included all forms in the same lesson, to make it more clear. I hope this helps.


Muchas gracias


Inma

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