This post is about the use of describing words/ adjectives in general, and more specifically about the use of the masculine/ singular form of demonstrative adjectives -demostrativos.
Imagine you talking to a friend or a work colleague. You are talking about family/ relatives. Looking at a picture, the other person who doesn't know your parents says: "is that gentleman your father?".
In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
¿Ese señor es tu padre?
Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be a little bit more formal and say:
¿Ese señor es su padre?
The answer to this question is quite straightforward. You should pay particular attention to noun-adjective agreement -see grammar notes below*.
Here are some sample replies:
- Sí, ese* señor es mi padre (yes, that gentleman is my father);
- No, ese* señor no es mi padre (no, that gentleman is not my father);
- No, ese* señor es mi tío (no, that gentleman is my uncle);
Now you should practise answering the question:
¿Ese señor es tu padre?
*NB See Grammar below
See notes below on Noun-Adjective agreement
In Spanish describing words/ adjectives have to agree in gender and number with the noun(s) they describe.
Many Spanish describing words/ adjectives have two forms:
- A masculine gender form (for example, alto)
- A similar, but different feminine gender (for example, alta).
A few Spanish describing words/ adjectives have one single form for both masculine and feminine (for example, inteligente).
Every time you use a describing word which has two separate forms (for example, alto/ alta), you need to choose the form which matches the gender (masculine/ feminine) of what you are describing.
In contrast with English, Spanish describing words/ adjectives have also plural* forms. Every time you use a describing word with a plural noun (for example, señoras), you must use the plural form of the corresponding describing word/ adjective (for example, esas).
You should use the masculine/ plural form of a describing word/ adjective when it describes multiple persons/ things of different grammatical genders.
*NB View posts with details about the plural of Spanish words here.
All the practical examples in this post refer to one person, señor (gentleman). Consequently, they require the masculine/ singular form of a describing word/ adjective, for example, ese.