Adj 1

Id: 41


​Adjectives & No 1

Basque Adjectives

While word order in Basque can be very flexible, normally adjectives follow nouns, and for noun phrases(NP), only the last item in a noun phrase has the grammatical suffix added to it. You can think of a noun phrase as a train, with the noun(N) as the engine and the caboose as the grammatical suffix. So it does not matter how many adjectives(A)(freight cars) are added to the train, only the last one is changed. So a sentence can have just a noun (engine) with a grammatical suffix (caboose) or there can be a lot of adjectives (freight cars) in the middle.

One noun and grammatical ending. (One locomotive and a caboose)

  • (NP) KotxeA(N) da(V). : It is a car.
  • (NP)KotxeAK(N) dira(V).: They are cars.

One noun, one adjective and a grammatical ending.(One locomotive, one freight car and a caboose)

  • (NP) Kotxe(N) gorriA(A) da(V). : It is a red car
  • (NP) Kotxe(N) gorriAK(A) dira(V). : They are red cars.

One noun, two adjectives, and a grammatical ending.(One locomotive, two freight cars and acaboose)

  • (NP) Kotxe(N) gorri(A) handiA(A) da(V). : It is a big, red car.
  • (NP) Kotxe(N) gorri(A) handiAK(A) dira(V). : They are big, red cars.

Complementary Adjectives

  • When a sentence includes a complementary adjective(CA), (which in English is separated by the verb ‘to be’),
  • both the noun, or last part of a noun phrase of the subject (S) and the complementary adjective (CA) have a grammatical suffix added.
  • (NP) Kotxe(N) gorri(A) handiA(A) altuA(CA) da(V). : The big, red car is tall
  • (NP) Kotxe(N) gorri(A) handiAK(A) altuAK(CA) dira(V). : The big, red cars are tall.

Zein - which

  • Note that Basque uses the word zein (which) in cases that English would use what.
  • For example, "What color is the bus" is "Zein koloretakoa da autobusa?"
  • as opposed to "What are you? - Zer zara zu?"
  • The idea being that there is a limted number of colors, at least for us males who only see 16. :-)
  • Ok, the joke is lame, but hopefully will help you remember to use Zein with color. :-)
  • PS - koloretakoa is the genetive locative (nongo) case of kolore, but don't worry about it for now, juse use koloretakoa when asking the color. :-)

Vocabulary Adjectives & No 1

  • beltz: black
  • zuri: white
  • gorri: red
  • laranja: orange
  • hori: yellow
  • berde: green
  • urdin: blue
  • gris: gray
  • poltsa: purse
  • zein: which
  • koloretakoa: color (nongo)

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beltz black ['black1', 'black2', 'black3']
zuri white ['white1', 'white2', 'white3']
gorri red ['red1', 'red2', 'red3']
laranja orange ['orange1', 'orange2', 'orange3']
hori yellow ['yellow1', 'yellow2', 'yellow3']
berde green ['green1', 'green2', 'green3']
urdin blue ['blue1', 'blue2', 'blue3']
gris gray ['gray1', 'gray2', 'gray3']
poltsa purse ['purse1', 'purse2', 'purse3']
zein which ['which1', 'which2', 'which3']
koloretakoa color ['color1', 'color2', 'color3']


Autobusa horia edo autobus laranja da?
Is it a yellow bus or an orange bus?
Is it the yellow bus or the orange bus?
Autobus berdea zen, baina orain horia da.
It was a green bus, but now it is yellow.
It was the green bus, but now it is yellow.
Zein koloretakoa da autobusa?
Which color is the bus?
What color is the bus?
Autobusa gorria eta beltza da eta kotxea urdina eta laranja da.
The bus is red and black and the car is blue and orange.
Kotxe beltza zen, baina orain gorria da.
It was a black car, but now it is red.
Kotxe bat zuria da eta kotxe bat urdina da.
One car is white and one car is blue.
Haiek kotxe zuriak ziren, baina orain horiak dira.
They were white cars, but now they are yellow.
Poltsa bat beltza zen eta poltsa bat grisa zen.
One purse was black and one purse was gray.
A purse was black and a purse was gray.
Poltsa bat berdea zen.
One purse was green
A purse was green
Poltsak horiak ziren.
The purses were yellow.
Autobusa eta kotxea urdinak dira.
The bus and the car are blue.
A bus and a car are blue.
Autobusa beltza zen eta kotxea zuria zen.
The bus was black and the car was white.
A bus was black and a car was white.
Zein koloretakoa zen kotxea?
Which color was the car?
What color was the car.
Which color was the auto.
What color was the auto.
Kotxea laranja zen.
The car was orange.
A car was orange.
Poltsak laranjak eta berdeak dira.
The purses are orange and green.
Kotxeak grisak dira.
The cars are gray.


a ('-a',)
and ('eta',)
blue ('urdin',)
bus ('autobusa',)
black ('beltz',)
car ('kotxea',)
cars ('kotxeak',)
gray ('gris',)
green ('berde',)
now ('orain',)
one ('bat',)
orange ('laranja',)
purse ('poltsa',)
purses ('poltsak',)
red ('gorri',)
the ('-a',)
they ('haiek',)
yellow ('hori',)
white ('zuri',)
autobus ('bus',)
autobusa ('bus',)
bat ('one',)
beltz ('black',)
beltza ('black',)
berde ('green',)
berdea ('green',)
berdeak ('green',)
da ('is',)
dira ('are',)
eta ('and',)
gorri ('red',)
gorria ('red',)
gris ('gray',)
grisa ('gray',)
grisak ('gray',)
haiek ('they',)
hori ('yellow',)
horia ('yellow',)
horiak ('yellow',)
kotxe ('car',)
kotxea ('car',)
kotxeak ('cars',)
laranja ('orange',)
laranjak ('orange',)
orain ('now',)
poltsa ('purse',)
poltsak ('purses',)
urdin ('blue',)
urdina ('blue',)
urdinak ('blue',)
zuri ('white',)
zuria ('white',)
zuriak ('white',)