Arroz Verde is Green Rice.
It is one those famous Mexican foods. A typical arroz verde is prepared with cilantro, spinach, sometimes chicken and of course with rice. Very often poblano is added while preparing it, which is a sort of mild chili pepper.
Why is it then arroz verde and not
verde arroz? It is because in Spanish
descriptive adjectives come almost always after the noun.
Another thing one should know about Spanish adjectives is that they should agree with the gender of the noun.
For example, instead of green rice, say white rice in Spanish. It is
- arroz blanco
And now try to say white house. It is
- casa blanca
The reason is there are three groups of adjectives related to the colors in Spanish:
1. Some colors are only masculine in Spanish:
(el) verde: green
(el) marrón: brown
Note that verde belongs to this class. That’s why you would say arroz verde and also casa verde. Although arroz is masculine and casa is feminine. The adjectives do not change according to the gender of the noun in this case.
2. some are only feminine:
(la) violeta: violet
(la) naranja: orange
(la) rosa: pink
(la) lila: lilac
Again as in the first group above, the adjectives falling into the second group will be the same whether the noun is masculine or feminine.
3. Yet there is another group of Spanish colors which can either be feminine or masculine:
In the case of colors falling into the last group, the end of the adjective changes in accordance with the article of the noun which it describes. That’s why
Because casa is la casa & arroz is el arroz.
Note that the colors ending in “-o” are always masculine and they have a corresponding feminine version which ends in “-a”. This is very similar to the gender rules of the Spanish nouns : you might have heard that those nouns ending in -o are 99% masculine & those ending in -a are 99% feminine in Spanish.
The opposite is not correct. Note that the second group of color adjectives is tricky. All these adjectives end in -a. So you might think that there is version which ends in -o. Be careful with the adjectives ending in a. Because they do not necessarily have a corresponding masculine version. For instance there is no such color as
roso in Spanish.
Another thing to take into consideration is that the adjectives in Spanish should agree with the number of the noun- whether the noun is singular or plural. That means if the noun is plural you should make the adjective also plural. So, white houses in Spanish is casas verdes.
This is the 4th part of an article series called “What Mexican Food Can Teach You About Spanish Language”
WATCH HOW ARROZ VERDE IS PREPARED AND DO SOME LISTENING PRACTICE IN SPANISH AT THE SAME TIME. IT’S EASY TO FOLLOW