If "una clase de español" means "a Spanish class" and "español / española" can also be an adjective, is "una clase española" also a valid/common phrase?

Can we say that "una clase de español" roughly means "a class about the Spanish language" and "una clase española" roughly means "a class taught in Spanish"?

Similarly, what about "un maestro de español" vs. "un maestro español"? Is it valid/common? Thanks!

1 Answer 1


While "Spanish lesson" and "Spanish teacher" are ambiguous in English (a lesson of Spanish language / a lesson of a Spanish sort // a teacher of Spanish language / a teacher of Spanish nationality), such ambiguity does not apply to Spanish.

We say:

  • clase de español (NOT clase española)


  • maestro/profesor de español (NOT maestro/profesor español, which can only be used to refer to a teacher born in Spain)
  • 1
    Thanks! It seems that in many cases español as an adjective refers to the country Spain (maestro español) or the Spanish culture (restaurante español). Is it common to use español as an adjective to refer to the Spanish language?
    – Yifei
    Mar 29, 2020 at 23:44
  • 3
    Well, you can of course say el idioma español or la lengua española.
    – Gustavson
    Mar 30, 2020 at 1:18

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