How to Describe the World in Spanish: A Fun Guide for Explorers
What’s more interesting than describing the world in Spanish?
Despite our differences in nationality, gender, religion, language, and culture—the world unites us. After all, each of us is a living, breathing human on Earth. And as you learn Spanish or teach it to your children, you’re likely inspired to explore the world in the Spanish language.
Learning a foreign language provides you the opportunity to express yourself in new ways and describe the world around you from a different perspective. What’s more, it empowers your ability to connect with people from other cultures through their native language.
This blog post explores the many ways to describe the world in Spanish, including both nature and cityscapes. You’ll gather the essential adjectives, verbs, and nouns you need to form coherent—and maybe even eloquent—sentences about the world in Spanish!
As a wise Chinese proverb says, “To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world.”
Keep reading to expand your vocabulary and your horizon.
Adjectives That Describe the World in Spanish
Adjectives are words that describe nouns, and they’re essential for describing in detail the peculiarities of the world in Spanish. In our list below, we’ll explore word pairs that are opposites.
But first, a quick lesson (or refresher!) on Spanish adjectives.
Spanish Adjectives 101
Unlike in English, Spanish adjectives usually follow the noun. Rather than saying “the blue plate,” you say el plato azul, for example.
A few adjectives are placed before the noun, such as mejor (mi mejor amigo means “my best friend”).
In addition to positioning, each adjective is either masculine or feminine and singular or plural, depending on the noun it modifies. For example:
- El gato negro (masculine, singular)
- La gata negra (feminine, singular)
- Los gatos negros (masculine, plural)
- Las gatas negras (feminine, plural)
26 Adjetivos Básicos
Did you know that many common Spanish adjectives are similar to their English counterparts? As you’ll see in our list below, many natural terms are cognates or “sister words” in Spanish and English.
- Bueno – good
- Malo – bad
- Lindo – pretty
- Feo/a – ugly
- Grande – big
- Pequeño/a – small
- Simple – simple
- Complicado/a – complicated
- Maravilloso/a – marvelous, amazing
- Repugnante – disgusting
- Nuevo/a – new
- Viejo/a – old
- Abierto/a – open
- Cerrado/a – closed
- Caluroso/a – hot
- Frío/a – cold
- Caro/a – expensive
- Barato/a – cheap
- Loco/a – crazy
- Tranquilo/a – tranquil
- Limpio/a – clean
- Sucio/a – dirty
- Seco/a – dry
- Mojado/a – wet
- Injusto/a – unfair
- Justo/a – fair
It’s also wonderful to use the colors in Spanish as descriptors. Check out our Vibrant Guide to Colors in Spanish with Phrases and Practice.
Verbs to Describe the World in Spanish
Ser – to be
Estar – to be (Learn the differences in Estar and Ser: Funny Mistakes and How to Use the Verbs the Right Way!)
Ir – to go
Ver – to see
Mirar – to look
Escuchar – to listen
Encontrar – to find, to encounter
Oír – to hear
Oler – to smell
Saber – to know, to taste
Conocer – to know, to meet
Aprender – to learn
Caminar – to walk
Viajar – to travel
Hablar – to talk
Tener – to have
Dar – to give
Recibir – to receive
Vivir – to live
Visitar – to visit
Nouns from the Natural World in Spanish
Spending time in nature enables us to develop awareness and awaken our senses. The nouns below divide into 4 categories: nature, earth, water, and air. After each set of vocabulary words, you can read several example sentences that will help improve your conversation skills.
Learn these words to describe the beauty and complexity of the natural world in Spanish!
La Naturaleza – Nature
el aire libre – fresh air, open air, the outdoors
el amanecer – dawn, sunrise
el atardecer – sunset, dusk
el tiempo – weather
el paisaje – landscape, scenery
el medio ambiente – environment
la selva – rainforest, jungle
el bosque – forest
la sabana – savannah
el desierto – desert
el planeta – planet
los animales – animals
la naturaleza – nature, wilderness
Caminé al valle a las seis de la mañana para ver el amanecer.
I walked to the valley at six in the morning to watch the sunrise.
El paisaje en la playa era increíble.
The scenery at the beach was incredible.
En su tiempo libre se le puede encontrar casi siempre al aire libre.
In her free time, she can usually be found in the open air.
A Paola le encanta vivir en la naturaleza con los animales.
Paola loves living in the wilderness with the animals.
La Tierra – Earth
el árbol – tree
la planta – plant
el arbusto – bush
la flor – flower
la hoja – leaf
el castaño – chestnut tree
la haya – beech tree
el cedro – cedar
el roble – oak tree
la palmera – palm tree
el pino – pine tree, evergreen
el cactus – cactus
el olmo – elm tree
el precipicio – cliff
la montaña – mountain
la sierra – mountain range, sierra
el valle – valley
En la sierra existen diversas montañas.
In the sierra, there are diverse mountains.
Mi árbol favorito es la palmera porque me encantan los cocos.
My favorite tree is the palm tree because I love coconuts.
Este roble lindo está muy viejo.
This beautiful oak tree is very old.
Encontramos unas flores maravillosas.
We came across some amazing flowers.
La Agua – Water
el lago – lake
el río – river
el mar – sea
el océano – ocean
la cascada – waterfall
la orilla – shore
la playa – beach
la lluvia – rain
la nieve – snow
el granizo – hail
el tsunami – tsunami
El tsunami de 2004 sacó a la luz el sufrimiento de la población.
The 2004 tsunami brought the people’s suffering to light.
El río fluye hacia el mar.
The river flows to the sea.
Vamos a la cascada para un picnic.
We’re going to the waterfall for a picnic.
El lago de Atitlán es amplio y profundo.
Lake Atitlan is wide and deep.
El Aire – Air
el viento – wind
la tormenta – storm
el huracán – hurricane
la brisa – breeze
el ciclón – cyclone
el tornado – tornado
los insectos – insects
las nubes – clouds
los pájaros – birds
las abejas – bees
las mariposas – butterflies
Durante la tormenta, comenzó a granizar.
During the thunderstorm, it started to hail.
Un tornado dañó mi escuela cuando era niña.
A tornado damaged my school when I was a girl.
Miren las nubes rosadas.
Look at the pink clouds.
Los pájaros cantan todo el día.
The birds sing all day long.
Nouns from the Manmade World in Spanish
el pueblo – village, town
la ciudad – city
la metrópolis – metropolis
el pais – country
el edificio – building
la casa – house
el césped – grass, lawn
el rascacielos – skyscraper
la carretera – highway
el puente – bridge
la calle – road
la tienda – store
el hospital – hospital
el aeropuerto – airport
la biblioteca – library
la escuela – school
el vecindario – neighborhood
la comunidad – community
la humanidad – humanity
Mi casa es pequeña y humilde.
My house is small and humble.
La ciudad de Nueva York tiene muchos rascacielos.
New York City has lots of skyscrapers.
La tienda está abierta hasta las 8 de la noche.
The store is open until 8:00 p.m.
He vivido en este vecindario por 20 años.
I have lived in this neighborhood for 20 years.
Discover the World in Spanish!
Now that you know how to describe the world in Spanish, you can practice both writing and speaking using your newfound skills. If you’re teaching your kids or Spanish students using this post, extend the lesson by making flashcards and seeing how many new vocabulary words you can include in a paragraph or conversation. To improve your Spanish skills in a fun and effective way, book a free class with one of our friendly, native Spanish-speaking teachers and have a conversation about the fascinating world around us.
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