Using the diminutive suffix -cito, -cita, -citos and -citas with words ending in -e, -n, and -r

In Spanish, instead of adding the adjective pequeño (= small or little) we can use the diminutive suffix -cito, -cita, ‑citos or -citas with most words that end in -e, -n or -r. The suffix not only indicates a diminutive size, but in some cases, it can add a nuance of affection, or soften the meaning of the actual word.

With words ending in -e, -n or -r, the rule is generally to add these endings to the word:

Have a look:

Masc sing   Fem sing    Masc pl    Fem pl   
   -cito    -cita   -citos  -citas

Read and listen to these examples:

En la plaza de mi pueblo hay una fuentecita de piedra.
There is a little stone fountain in my village main square.

Más adelante verás una callecita estrecha.
Further on you will see a narrow little street.

El parque está muy verdecito.
The park is very green.

Puedes acariciar al perro suavecito.
You can stroke the dog softly.

He comprado un camioncito de juguete a mi sobrino.
I bought a toy little lorry for my nephew.

Voy a ver a mi amorcito esta tarde.
I am seeing my love this afternoon.

Notice how this suffix applies to nouns (fuente, calle, camión, amor) adjectives (verde) and adverbs (suave).

Here are some plural examples:

Mi hijo juega con sus cochecitos todo el tiempo.
My son plays with his little cars all the time.

Hay dos parquecitos con columpios cerca de aquí.
There are two small playgrounds with swings around here.

Tus plantas parecen muy verdecitas y sanas.
Your plants look very green and healthy.

An exeption to this rule is the diminutive for caliente (hot): it loses its central -i-  and final -e and uses the suffix -ito:

calientecalientecito → calentito.

See also Diminutivo.

 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

El parque está muy verdecito.
The park is very green.


Voy a ver a mi amorcito esta tarde.
I am seeing my love this afternoon.


Puedes acariciar al perro suavecito.
You can stroke the dog softly.


He comprado un camioncito de juguete a mi sobrino.
I bought a toy little lorry for my nephew.


Más adelante verás una callecita estrecha.
Further on you will see a narrow little street.


Hay dos parquecitos con columpios cerca de aquí.
There are two small playgrounds with swings around here.


En la plaza de mi pueblo hay una fuentecita de piedra.
There is a little stone fountain in my village main square.


Mi hijo juega con sus cochecitos todo el tiempo.
My son plays with his little cars all the time.


Tus plantas parecen muy verdecitas y sanas.
Your plants look very green and healthy.


Q&A

Be the first to ask a question!

Find your Spanish level for FREE

Test your Spanish to the CEFR standard

find your Spanish level

Share the love!

Thinking...