Opposites in Spanish: 40 Essential Spanish Antonyms To Boost Your Vocabulary

Adjectives are an essential part of a sentence in any language.

It may seem like there are endless adjectives to learn in Spanish, but fear not!

Learning adjectives with antonym sets is an effective way to boost your Spanish vocabulary quickly—every time you learn a new adjective, try learning its opposite, too! 

In this post, we’ll share 40 essential Spanish antonyms for you to start using to expand your vocabulary. 


Important Spanish Antonyms for Spanish Learners

1. Antiguo & Moderno — Old & Modern

Antiguo can also mean “antique” or “ancient,” while moderno can also be slang for “trendy.”

Las cosas en el museo son muy antiguas, pero el edificio es muy moderno.
(The things in the museum are very old, but the building is very modern.)

2. Corto & Largo — Short & Long

A Juan solamente le gusta el pelo largo, pero Lupe tiene el pelo corto.
(Juan only likes long hair, but Lupe has short hair.)

3. Estrecho & Ancho — Narrow & Wide

Cuando hay coches, la calle parece muy estrecha, pero en realidad es ancha.
(When there are cars, the street feels very narrow, but actually it is wide.)

4. Bueno & Malo — Good & Bad

Las verduras son muy buenas para la salud, pero los dulces son malos.
(Vegetables are very good for health, but candies are bad.)

5. Cómodo & Incómodo — Comfortable & Uncomfortable

Cómodo can also mean “convenient,” and incómodo can also mean “awkward.”

El sofá es cómodo, pero la silla es incómoda.
(The couch is comfortable, but the chair is uncomfortable.)

6. Caro & Barato — Expensive & Cheap

Barato can also be translated to mean “trashy.”

Quiero un coche caro, pero solamente tengo un coche barato.
(I want an expensive car, but I only have a cheap car.)

7. Antipático & Simpático — Unfriendly & Friendly

Antipático can also be used to mean “unpleasant” or “disagreeable,” and simpático on the other hand can also be used to mean “pleasant” or “agreeable.”

Ella es muy antipática, pero su familia es muy simpática.
(She is very unfriendly, but her family is very pleasant.)

8. Débil & Fuerte — Weak & Strong

Muchas personas en el gimnasio son débiles, pero Margarita es muy fuerte.
(Many people in the gym are very weak, but Margarita is very strong.)

9. Duro & Blando — Hard & Soft

Duro also means “tough” or “severe.”

Las piedras son duras y mi colchón es blando. Lo prefiero así.
(Rocks are hard and my mattress is soft. I prefer it like this.)

10. Frío & Caliente — Cold & Hot

El helado está frío y mi café está caliente. Me duelen los dientes.
(The ice cream is cold and my coffee is hot. My teeth hurt.)

11. Grande & Pequeño — Big & Small

El bajo es un instrumento grande y el ukelele es pequeño.
(The bass is a big instrument and the ukulele is small.)

12. Delgado & Gordo — Thin & Fat

Mi hermana es delgada, pero yo soy gorda.
(My sister is thin, but I’m fat.)

13. Tonto & Inteligente — Dumb & Intelligent

Los estudiantes que no estudian son tontos, pero los que estudian son inteligentes.
(The students that do not study are dumb, but those that study are intelligent.)

14. Lleno & Vacío — Full & Empty

Mi taza está llena, pero tu taza está vacía. ¿Tienes sed?
(My cup is full, but your cup is empty. Are you thirsty?)

15. Claro & Oscuro — Light & Dark

Along with meaning “clear,” claro also means “light,” “bright,” “pale” or even “thin”/”weak.” Oscuro, on the other hand, as well as meaning “dark,” can also translate to “uncertain,” “shady” or “overcast.”

Tu camisa es clara, pero la mía es oscura.
(Your shirt is light, but mine is dark.)

16. Alto & Bajo — Tall & Short

Alto can also be used to mean “high,” or “loud” when talking about sound. Similarly, bajo can also mean “low” or “quiet.”

Los jugadores de baloncesto son muy altos, pero los gimnastas son muy bajos.
(Basketball players are very tall, but gymnasts are very short.)

17. Fácil & Difícil — Easy & Difficult

Preferiría que la tarea fuera fácil, pero es difícil.
(I would prefer the homework to be easy, but it is difficult.)

18. Limpio & Sucio — Clean & Dirty

Quiero una casa limpia, pero siempre tengo una casa sucia.
(I want a clean house, but I always have a dirty house.)

19. Cómico & Trágico — Funny & Tragic

Prefiero las obras cómicas a las obras trágicas.
(I prefer funny/comedic plays to tragic plays.)

20. Hermoso & Feo — Beautiful & Ugly

La Cenicienta es hermosa y sus hermanastras son feas.
(Cinderella is beautiful and her stepsisters are ugly.)

21. Interesante & Aburrido — Interesting & Boring

La clase es interesante, pero la tarea es aburrida.
(The class is interesting, but the homework is boring.)

22. Joven & Viejo — Young & Old

Quiero ser joven, pero soy viejo/vieja.
(I want to be young, but I’m old.)

23. Más & Menos — More & Less

Quiero más dinero y menos problemas.
(I want more money and fewer problems.)

24. Mejor & Peor — Better & Worse

Mi coche es mejor que el tuyo, pero es peor que el de Juan.
(My car is better than yours, but it’s worse than Juan’s.)

25. Mucho & Poco — A lot & Not much

Mucho can also “much,” “many,” “too much,” “too many” or “a lot of.” Poco can also mean “little” or “few.” 

Tengo muchos intereses pero poco tiempo.
(I have many interests but little time.)

26. Rápido & Lento — Fast & Slow

Es más rápido ir a trabajar en mi coche que en el autobús. El autobús va muy lento.
(It’s faster to go to work in my car than on the bus. The bus is very slow.)

27. Soltero & Casado — Single & Married

Pablo ya no está soltero. El año pasado se casó y ahora es un hombre casado.
(Pablo is no longer single. Last year he got married and now he is a married man.)

28. Abierto & Cerrado — Open & Closed

¿El restaurante está abierto o cerrado hoy?
(Is the restaurant open or closed today?)

29. Feliz & Triste — Happy & Sad

Desde que viajó a Finlandia ya no está triste. Ahora está tan feliz y lleno de vida.
(Since he traveled to Finland he is no longer sad. Now he is so happy and full of life.)

30. Ligero & Pesado — Light & Heavy

Me dijo que la bolsa de patatas era ligera pero es muy pesada.
(He told me that the bag of potatoes was light but it’s very heavy.)

31. Posible & Imposible — Possible & Impossible

¿Por qué dices que es imposible cuando todo es posible?
(Why do you say that it’s impossible when everything is possible?)

32. Dulce & Salado — Sweet & Salty

Salado can also be translated to mean “savory.”

A mí me gusta más el dulce que el salado
(I like sweet more than salty/savory.)

33. Callado & Hablador — Quiet & Talkative

En el pasado Juan era callado, pero ahora es muy hablador
(In the past Juan was quiet, but now he’s very talkative.)

34. Optimista & Pesimista — Optimistic & Pessimistic

Trato de ser lo más optimista posible, pero mi amigo es bastante pesimista
(I try to be as optimistic as possible, but my friend is quite pessimistic.)

35. Extrovertido & Introvertido — Extroverted & Introverted

María nunca ha sido una persona introvertida, desde pequeña ha sido muy extrovertida
(María has never been an introvert, since she was a child she has been very outgoing.)

36. Distinto & Igual — Different & Same

Creí que estos vestidos eran distintos, pero me acabo de dar cuenta que son iguales
(I thought these dresses were different, but I just realized that they are the same.)

37. Valiente & Cobarde — Brave & Coward

Que nadie lo llame cobarde, es la persona más valiente que conozco. 
(No one should call him a coward, he’s the bravest person I know.)

38. Barbudo Lampiño — Bearded & Clean-shaven

Guillermo siempre ha sido barbudo, pero su hermano es lampiño
(Guillermo has always been bearded, but his brother is beardless.)

39. Temprano & Tarde — Early & Late

Luca iba a despertarse temprano hoy, pero no sonó su alarma y se despertó tarde
(Luca was going to wake up early today, but his alarm didn’t go off and he woke up late.)

40. Cercano & Lejano — Near & Far

En un futuro cercano, a Juan le gustaría viajar a algún lugar lejano para aprender un nuevo idioma.
(In the near future, Juan would like to travel to some faraway place to learn a new language.)

Spanish Antonyms (Opposites) and Why You Should Study Them

Antonyms are words which have opposite meanings.

They’re also generally used to describe the same things: For example, you might describe someone using the antonyms “tall” or “short,” which are both used to describe height. Because of this, it’s helpful to be able to remember both terms together.

Studying antonym sets is a great way to learn vocabulary quickly by connecting related terms in your mind. They will help you start thinking in Spanish and provide you with a more complex understanding of these words.

  • A fun way to study antonyms is by using flashcards. Put one word on one side and its antonym on the other side. Look at one word and name its antonym. Flip the pile of flashcards over and try it with the opposite sides.
  • You can also practice your antonyms in any conversation or listening activity. Whenever you’re listening to a person or an audio, pick out an adjective you hear and (mentally or textually) note the opposite. This is great practice that will help reinforce all your learning. 
  • Immersion is often the key to learning new vocabulary, however you don’t have to be in a Spanish-speaking country to have an immersive experience. There are plenty of resources online that you can use to practice Spanish. For example, you could listen to music in Spanish and try to pick up some new antonyms.
  • Another useful resource is FluentU, a language learning program that immerses you in the language with authentic videos such as inspiring talks and entertaining clips on a range of topics. Each video features interactive subtitles which you can use to identify different words. You can even search for a specific antonym and see how it’s used in context by native speakers.

    By seeing antonyms used by native speakers, you’ll be able to understand how they are used in different contexts and make your Spanish sound more natural. The program is also available as an app (on iOS and Android), which gives you more flexibility in your study. 


Learning antonyms is a great way to expand your vocabulary quickly and effectively.

Now you know 40 essential Spanish antonyms, you can start using them in your Spanish conversations.

It should be great (and definitely not awful).

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