Spanish Personality Traits: 100+ Ways to Describe Someone
Have you ever met someone who always seems to be happy? Or that friend who rarely has anything interesting to say and is a bit boring to be around? Well, those are personality traits! We all have our own unique set of personality traits. By identifying what they are, we can use them to describe ourselves and one another.
When you learn Spanish personality traits, you discover a powerful way to introduce descriptive adjectives into your Spanish conversations. Why is that important? Because they are easy to identify and use, and they provide a fun way to master the tricky grammatical issue of number and gender in Spanish.
Think about any friend, celebrity or fictional character you like, and say the first word that comes to mind. Odds are that you just identified and mentioned a personality trait of that person. Now, do you know how to say that word in Spanish? If not, then this blog post will give you all the tools you need to describe other people’s personalities with more than a hundred words!
Personality Traits Are Adjectives
Both English and Spanish personality traits help us to describe how people are or how they behave. Since the purpose of these words is to describe a person (which is a noun), they are identified as adjectives. You may remember the days when your grammar teacher told you again and again that “adjectives modify nouns.” And what does that really mean? It just means that adjectives add a quality or limiting aspect to the noun, making the meaning a bit more precise. Unlike in English, where the adjectives come before the noun, Spanish adjectives usually come after the noun.
This means that instead of saying “the red house,” you say la casa roja.
However, the main particularity of adjectives in Spanish is that they “adapt” in number and gender to the noun they modify. That’s right, every noun in Spanish is a “he” or a “she,” and you have to consider that when using an adjective.
Thus, we have four possible adjective forms:
- Masculine singular.
- Feminine singular.
- Masculine plural.
- Feminine plural.
Let’s see the Spanish formula for adjectives and one example for each case:
Article + Noun + Adjective.
El libro blanco. – The white book.
La mesa blanca. – The white table.
Los libros blancos. – The white books.
Las mesas blancas. – The white tables.
Did you notice how the adjective adapts to the gender and number of the noun? While in English, you always have just “white” as the adjective, in Spanish you have four different versions of the same adjective. Also, it’s important to note which articles are being used for every case.
In Spanish, the whole sentence structure depends on the number and gender of the noun, so it’s really important to master that part first, before starting to work with adjectives.
For a deeper understanding of how to use adjectives in Spanish, read this post on the subject.
Spanish Personality Traits: Categories
A personality trait is a pattern of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that a person follows consistently. We all can be nice or mean at times, depending on the circumstances. However, we all know that there are people who are nice most times, and others who are mean most times. That’s their personality trait.
Spanish personality traits help you to identify patterns of behavior in the new language you are learning. By studying these 100+ traits, you’ll be able to expand your vocabulary and describe people with precise terms.
When using Spanish personality traits, the structure of the sentence changes a little bit compared to the use of other adjectives. For personality traits, you will use the verb ser (to be) to say that “someone is” a certain way.
Let’s see how that works:
Noun + ser + Spanish personality trait (adjective).
Carlos es agradable. – Carlos is nice.
María es responsable. – Maria is responsible.
As personality traits most times refer to one person, you usually use them in singular. However, in the event that you’re talking about a personality trait of an entire group of people (like a family, for instance), remember to “adapt” them to the correct number and gender.
Mis hermanos son muy creativos. – My brothers are very creative.
Ellas son atrevidas. – They are bold.
Notice how the verb ser (to be) is also modified by the number of the noun. If the noun is singular, you have to use es; but if the noun in the sentence is plural, the verb ser conjugates as son.
Do you need a refresher or want to learn more? Learn how to use Ser, Estar, and Tener in Spanish here.
Now that we’ve remembered how adjectives work in Spanish, let’s see our list of 100+ Spanish personality traits. I’ve grouped these traits in categories that express the overall character or distinct quality of people. For example, on the category agradable (nice), you’ll see a number of traits and their synonyms that express or expand on this idea of niceness. This way, you’ll associate that trait with a bigger concept, which always comes handy when learning new Spanish content.
After each category, I’ve added a quick exercise to test your knowledge and put it to practice. At the end of this article, you can find the answer key for those exercises.
Agradable – Nice
This is a personality trait that everybody likes. You know that person who is always nice to be around; the girl who keeps a smile on her face or the guy who beams with kind words for others. Similar words to agradable are:
afectuoso – affectionate
grato – pleasant
amable – kind
amigable – friendly
amoroso – loving
atento – attentive
considerado – considerate
dulce – sweet
lindo – cute
educado – polite
generoso – generous
interesante – interesting
puntual – punctual
servicial – helpful
simpático – nice
sincero – honest
- Jorge es ______________ . – Jorge is generous.
- Karla es ______________ . – Karla is loving.
Desagradable – Unpleasant
Here, we are talking about the kind of person that nobody likes to be around. These people are unpleasant to meet, talk to, and even to see. The following are all negative Spanish personality traits.
cínico – cynical
cruel – callous
desaliñado – untidy
desconsiderado – inconsiderado
descuidado – careless
deshonesto – dishonest
egoísta – selfish
engreído – arrogant
entrometido – intrusive
fastidioso – fastidious
gruñón – grumpy
horrible – awful
inmaduro – immature
insensible – insensitive
intolerante – intolerant
malicioso – mischievous
malo – mean
mentiroso – liar*
tacaño – stingy
perezoso – lazy
sucio – dirty
- Juan es _____________ . – Juan is mean.
- Martha es una _____________ . – Martha is a liar.*
This last exercise is a tricky one, added for the sole purpose of explaining what’s happening there. In the sentence “Martha es una mentirosa,” mentirosa is not an adjective but a noun. However, if we wanted to express that same idea using mentirosa as an adjective, you would need to say “Martha es mentirosa,” which somehow doesn’t sound right in Spanish. For now, just take a mental note that sometimes adjectives can become nouns simply by adding an article, like una in this case.
Aburrido – Boring
This personality trait describes people who are not interesting to be around. They are a bit gray, they lack enthusiasm for life, and it shows in their interactions with other people.
apático – listless
distraído – absent-minded
hastiado – jaded
cansado – tiresome
tedioso – tedious
- Tus amigos son muy _____________ . – Your friends are really boring.
Divertido – Funny
Being divertido is one of the most likable Spanish personality traits of all. Here is where all the fun is. Being around people like this is always exciting.
alegre – joyful
gracioso, chistoso – amusing
juguetón – playful
jovial – jovial
encantador – charming
entretenido – entertaining
- Mis hermanas son muy _____________ . – My sisters are very funny.
Intelectual – Intellectual
Intelectual is a Spanish personality trait that refers to the kind of people who favor critical thinking and rationality over emotions. This is a trait used to refer to university professors and scientists, for example.
coherent – coherent
inteligente – intelligent
culto – cultured
listo – clever
pensativo – thoughtful
sensato – sensible
sabio – wise
sagaz – discerning
ingenioso – witty
- Ricardo es _____________ . – Ricardo is witty.
Creativo – Creative
The personality trait of artists. They see the world in a different light than most of us. They think differently, which allows them to create beautiful things for everybody to appreciate and enjoy.
curioso – curious
hábil – skillful
imaginativo – imaginative
talentoso – talented
excéntrico – eccentric
innovador – innovative
inventivo – inventive
- Miguel es _____________ . – Miguel is talented.
Responsable – Responsible
This Spanish personality trait is that of parents, efficient managers, or reliable professionals. When you need something to be done and done well, you look for someone with this trait. A person you can trust is going to get the job done.
práctico – practical
eficiente – efficient
fiable – reliable
positivo – positive
realista – realistic
serio – serious
independiente – independent
exigente – demanding
- Eres muy _____________ . – You are very efficient.
Notice how in this case, we introduced a different conjugation. Now, you aren’t talking about a third person, but directly to another person. You are talking in the second person tú (you), hence the verb ser has to be conjugated accordingly.
Introvertido – Introvert
Introvertido is a Spanish personality trait that refers to the people who are quiet, reserved, and thoughtful. They prefer daydreaming and self-reflection over socializing. They think more than they talk. Some of them are insecure about themselves, others are simply more interested in their own inner world.
tímido – shy
triste – sad
melancólico – melancholic
nervioso – nervous
callado – quiet
modesto – humble
cauto – cautious
cuidadoso – careful
desconfiado – distrustful
discreto – discreet
tranquilo – calm
- Pedro es muy _____________ . – Pedro is very discreet.
Audaz – Bold
Imagine the kind of person who seems fearless and never doubts themselves. These people inspire others because they know what they want and they go for it. The confidence they have in themselves is their most distinctive trait.
atrevido – courageous
valiente – brave
ambicioso – ambitious
directo – direct
impulsivo – impulsive
intrépido – bold
poderoso – powerful
provocador – provocative
perseverante – persevering
tenaz – tenacious
seguro – self-confident
- Erika es _____________ . – Erika is tenacious.
Negativo – Negative
Here, I’m including other negative adjectives that haven’t been included in any other category. They are varied and not necessarily related. The only thing they have in common is that they describe negative personality traits.
tonto – silly
torpe – clumsy
débil – weak
deprimido – depressed
holgazán – slacker
quisquilloso – fussy
pretencioso – pretentious
imprudente – careless
- Tus hermanas son _____________ . – Your sisters are pretentious.
Are You a Parent?
Are you a parent looking for simple, effective, and free resources to teach your kids about the Spanish personality traits? Or any other Spanish topic? If so, this is your lucky day! If you sign up now for a free class with one of Homeschool Spanish Academy’s certified teachers from Guatemala, your child can begin using these words in conversation from the first class.
All our teachers are agradables, responsables, and creativos, as they are dedicated to bringing to life Spanish-related material specifically designed for little ones. These materials are fun, interactive, and a great way to make sure that the learning content sticks. Give it a try and let your kids discover them by themselves!
The DIY Academy is a new feature here at HSA and the idea is to help you to learn by yourself as an adult learner. Alternatively, it can help you teach Spanish to your kids, if you are a parent at home needing some fun and original material and activities to work with.
For this first activity, ask your kids to trace a silhouette of themselves and write their name on top of the piece of paper. The bigger the paper, the better, as they will be writing inside the body of the drawing.
Once the drawing is ready, ask them to write five Spanish personality traits they like about themselves inside their silhouette. Now, ask them to write three Spanish personality traits that they don’t like about themselves outside the body.
Finally, ask them to write on top of the drawing two Spanish personality traits that they think they don’t have now, but that they would like to have in the future.
A variation of this same activity can be done by drawing a sibling, parent or friend, and writing their personality traits. Just be careful with the negative personality traits, you may skip that part or make sure that everything is done in an environment of respect and love.
Mastering Number and Gender
In this activity, you are going to use the Spanish personality traits that you have just learned to master number- and gender-agreement in Spanish. Create little tags with the following subjects written on them:
Put them inside a little bag and let your kids pick one with their eyes closed. For each subject they select, they will need to form a sentence using the correct verb and adjective.
For example, let’s say your kid picks ella:
Ella + [es] + [Spanish personality trait adjective (with no “s” at the end, because it’s singular)]
Ella es inteligente.
Or, let’s say the chosen subject is ellos:
Ellos + [son] + [Spanish personality trait adjective (with “s” at the end, because it’s plural)]
Ellos son valientes.
Watch a Movie and Describe the Characters
This activity is an excellent way to have fun and keep learning Spanish. After you’re finished with this lesson and the previous activities, take a break and watch a movie. Let’s say “Star Wars.”
When the movie is over, ask your children to describe in Spanish Princess Leia, Darth Vader, and Han Solo. You will have a lot of fun, they will learn not only Spanish, but also reflect about what they have just seen and identify personality traits in other people.
After a few movies, they will do it by themselves and will master the Spanish personality traits rather quickly.
In this post, we went back to see how adjectives work in Spanish and how they can help you to describe personality traits. Then, you got a long list of these traits to add to your growing vocabulary in Spanish, and got the chance to put into practice that new knowledge. Remember, that you can always get more help from us at HSA, and that you can also keep practicing at home with the little tips from the DIY Academy. Practice makes perfect!
Want more free Spanish learning resources? Check out these posts!
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- How to Use the Personal A in Spanish: Do’s and Don’ts - September 13, 2020
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