Words that require nouns or adjectives are many in Spanish. Generally, our students at Spanishviaskype.com come across some terms that are accompanied by one of these two categories of words. It is common for speakers of Spanish as a foreign language to confuse them, even at intermediate levels. Because of this, today we are going to show some of these words that require nouns or adjectives in Spanish.

Words that Require Nouns or Adjectives: Ser, Estar and Tener

The first verbs that a student of Spanish comes across are ser, estar and tener. With them, we can start making descriptions, about the appearance and personality of a subject, or about the qualities and state of an object or a place.

Before we continue, we recommend you this article in which you can learn several adjectives that change their meaning when used with the verb ser and the verb estar.

Article about ser and estar when they change the meaning of adjectives

Let’s move on. The verbs ser and estar allow you to describe an object, a place or a person, using, mainly, adjectives:

Mis profesores en Spanishviaskype.com son simpáticos y están muy preparados.

However, the verb tener needs to be complemented by a noun in direct object function:

Yo tengo el certificado B1 de los exámenes DELE.

When we combine them to describe a person, we find examples like the following:

Mi hermana tiene pelo rubio, pero yo soy moreno.


Tanto vs Tan: Nouns or Adjectives?

Another pair of words that require nouns or adjectives are the adjective tanto/a/os/as and the adverb tan. Although both have the same origin (the Latin form tantus), tanto needs a noun that is determined. On the other hand, tan is the apocopated form of tanto, only before adjectives and adverbs. Both forms can express quantity, both in comparisons, as well as in sentences of consequence and in emphatic expressions.

Let’s see an example of comparison:

Mi hija tiene tantos amigos como yo, pero no son tan divertidos como los míos.

Now, let’s check how they work in consecutive sentences:

Tengo tanto tiempo libre que voy a estudiar un nuevo idioma; pero el chino es tan difícil que no creo que pueda aprenderlo.

To finish, some expressions that emphasize quantity:

¡Hace tanto calor hoy…! Creo que voy a quedarme en casa porque se está tan fresco con el aire acondicionado…

Words that Require Nouns or Adjectives: Mucho and Muy

If you have understood the explanation above, you will be able to master the adjective mucho/a/os/as and the adverb muy. As with tanto and tan, mucho and muy come from the same Latin word (multus), and the adverb muy is a reduced form of mucho. Both words that require nouns or adjectives intensify the quantity of the term they complement: in the case of mucho, the nouns, and in the case of muy, the adjectives or adverbs:

Las clases de conversación son muy interesantes y con ellas mejoras muchas capacidades de interacción.

Sentir or Sentirse: the Important Thing is the Emotion

To finish, let’s remember how the verb sentir works in Spanish. But first, we remind you that we already published an article about verbs of emotions in Spanish. If you read it, you will have a more complete idea about the use of sentir and sentirse.

Article about the verbs of feelings in Spanish

Although it may cause confusion, the only difference between the two variants of the same verb is the governing word. Both introduce an emotion felt by the subject of the sentence; the verb sentir requires a noun and sentirse is accompanied by an adjective. In spite of what has been said, it is true that sentirse can sometimes work with a noun, when it has an attributive function: sentirse un héroe.

Let’s see an example of both verbal variants:

Cuando cometo errores hablando español me siento estúpido, pero cuanto más practico, siento más confianza en mí mismo.

In short, although it seems easy to remember these characteristics of the words that require nouns or adjectives in Spanish, sometimes choosing the right option becomes a matter of “heads or tails”. If you want your chances are more than 50% right, reserve Skype Spanish lessons with us and you will learn more of these words.