An example of an adjective of quantity in English is "many" in the phrase "many dogs." The adjective comes before the noun and tells how many. It is the same in Spanish: muchos perros.
Like most other nondescriptive adjectives, adjectives of quantity typically come before the noun they refer to (just as in English). And like other adjectives, they must match the nouns they refer to in both number and gender.
Here are the most common adjectives of quantity with examples of how they are used:
- algún, alguna, algunos, algunas — some, any — Alguna vez, voy al centro. (Some time, I will go downtown.) Pasaron algunos coches de policía. (Some police cars passed.) ¿Tienes algunos zapatos? (Do you have any shoes?) — Nearly all the time, the English "any" in sentences such as the example is left untranslated into Spanish. For example, "are there any watermelons?" becomes ¿hay sandías?
- ambos, ambas — both — Ambas compañías crearán una empresa internacional. (Both companies will create an international enterprise.)
- bastante, bastantes — enough, sufficient — En mi ciudad hay bastantes iglesias. (In my city there are enough churches.)
- mucho, mucha, muchos, muchas — much, many — Los medios de comunicación tienen mucho poder. (Communications media have much power.) Ella tiene muchos gatos. (She has many cats.) — Typically, this word is translated as "much" when singular and "many" when plural.
- ningún, ninguna — no — Ninguna persona será atacada or ridiculizada. (No person will be attacked or ridiculed.) — In Spanish, it is far less common to use ninguno or ninguna as an adjective than to use no as an adverb with the main verb, thus negating the entire sentence. Thus, "I have no shoes" would typically be stated as no tengo zapatos.
- poco, poca, pocos, pocas — small, little or slight; few — Hay poco pan. (There is little bread.) Hay pocas uvas. (There are a few grapes.) — As an adverb, poco can mean "not." For example, es poco inteligente (he's unintelligent).
- suficiente — enough, sufficient — Tenemos equipos suficientes para las inspecciones. (We have enough teams for the inspections.) — Bastante is more commonly used than suficiente.
- tanto, tanta, tantos, tantas — so much, so many — Jamás había comido tanto queso. (He had never eaten so much cheese.) En América Latina nunca han existido tantos pobres como ahora. (In Latin America there never have existed so many poor people as now.)
- todo, toda, todos, todas — each, every, all — Todo americano lo sabe. (Every American knows it.) Todos los perros van al cielo. (All dogs go to heaven.) — Use of todo or toda in singular form as an adjective isn't particularly common. Todos or todas is quite often used in plural form before the definite article, as in the example.
- unos, unas — some — Unos gatos son mejores cazadores que otros. (Some cats are better hunters than others.)
- varios, varias — several — Javier tenía varios coches. (Javier had several cars.)