Learn how to use bien, bueno and buen

Welcome to Learn Spanish Ahora. Today we got another Spanish lesson for you. We’ll be talking about some words that confuse a lot of Spanish learners. These words are: bien, Bueno, and buen. Remember, this is a Spanish lesson, so grab a notebook and a pen and, if you’re ready...

¡Vamos a darle!

Bien, bueno, buen. Gosh, they sound so similar, don’t they? Let’s start with the basics. As you know, there are adverbs and adjectives. Adverbios y adjetivos. An adjective is a word that describes a noun, like pretty, tall, ugly, thin, and so on. And adverb, on the other hand, describes verbs: quickly, fearlessly, honestly. An adverb can also describe an adjective, or even another adverb, but that doesn’t matter right now. What does matter, is that an adverb does not describe a noun.

For instance, good & well. You can say a good book, but not a well book. You could say, I read well, but you don’t say I read good. So, with this in mind, Bueno is an adjective, something like good. Whereas Bien is an adverb, something like well.

Let’s take a look at some examples.

  • How did you sleep last night? I slept well.

  • ¿Cómo dormiste anoche? Dormí bien.

  • Can you see without glasses? Yes, I see well.

  • ¿Puedes ver sin lentes? Sí, veo bien.

See? It is not that hard. Just think about it, are you describing an action? If yes, use bien. Now, regarding bueno. Remember that in Spanish you’ll find grammatical genders. That means, we use Bueno for masculine and Buena for feminine words.

  • Playera, feminine. This is a good shirt. Esta es una Buena playera.

  • Mesa, feminine. This is a Good table. Esta es una mesa buena.

  • Perro, masculine. My pet is a good dog. Mi mascota es un perro bueno.

See? No big deal. Remember that bueno and buena, just like any other adjective, change if you’re using plurals. For example:

  • Una Buena playera. Unas buenas playeras.

  • Una mesa buena, unas mesas buenas.

  • Un perro bueno, unos perros buenos.

It’s time to spice it up.

In Spanish, adjectives can be placed either before or after the word. Usually, the meaning remains almost the same. So, you can say:

  • Una mesa Buena, una Buena mesa.

  • Una buena playera, una playera buena.

  • Unos perros buenos, unos buenos perros.

However, there is something that you must know. In Spanish, there is something called apócope. It basically means that in Spanish some adjectives are reduced. In this case, bueno is reduced to buen.

How does it work? It’s simple, bueno is reduced whenever it is placed before a masculine singular noun. For example. You can say un perro Bueno, but you cannot say un Bueno perro. Bueno has to be reduced. So instead, you must say un buen perro. Therefore, un colegio Bueno changes into un buen colegio. Un coche bueno, un buen coche.

Español para llevar.

  • Bien is an adverb, it means well, and it goes after the verb. Yo leo bien. Ella canta bien. Nosotros dibujamos bien.

  • Bueno is an adjective, it means good, and it can be either before or after a noun. Bueno changes according to the word. Un coche Bueno. Unos Buenos caballos. Una casa bonita. Unas bonitas plantas.

  • Buen is the short form of bueno. It is used if bueno comes before a masculine noun in singular. Un buen momento. Un buen auto. Un buen curso.

And just like that, you’re already speaking Spanish. That’s it for today, I hope you enjoyed the lesson.

Sadly, this is the end of today’s post. However, don’t leave yet. Remember to make some use of our free online Spanish lessons! Don’t forget that we’ve got a Spanish podcast for learners as well. And most importantly, remember that all of our Spanish resources are free! So, wait no more and start learning and speaking Spanish with confidence!

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