Adjectives or nouns – which is the better option?

A strange question! Adjectives are different from nouns. Hold your horses! ¡Para el carro! ¡Despacito!

An important rule in English is to “keep it simple and short”. So if you can use one word instead of three or four, use one. A “rich” noun is better than a series of adjectives.

Adjectives have two roles: to give defining information (the fat cat) and to give an opinion (the loathsome politician). However, do not use adjectives if there is a noun that delivers the meaning.

Consider the following:

  • Mr. Podemos is a buffoon (bufón).
  • Mr. Podemos is a very silly man.

Why use three words (very silly man) when one word (buffoon) is an option? Why make life more complicated with long sentences? Keep them simple and short.

Here are some more examples:

  • Mr. Zerolo´s house is a palace.
  • Mr. Zerolo’s house is enormous and luxurious.

A well-chosen noun is better than a list of adjectives. Consider the following:

  • Mr. Gardner used to live (solía vivir) in a squalid (miserable/vil) area.
  • Mr. Gardner used to live in a slum (un barrio bajo).
  • Mr. Corbyn is involved in a complicated situation.
  • Mr. Corbyn is involved in an imbroglio (embrollo).
  • Mr. Corbyn had a dalliance (coqueteo).
  • Mr Corbyn had a brief love affair.
  • Mr. Johnson´s ebullience (entusiasmo) is infectious (contagioso).
  • Mr. Johnson´s bubbling enthusiasm is infectious.
  • Mr. Smith is a wimp (parado).
  • Mr. Smith is weak and ineffective.

The moral (moraleja)? Choose your adjectives and nouns wisely (sabiamente).