Usually we put the adjective after the noun in Spanish to give more detailed information about this noun. For example "un perro loco" or "una bebida fria".

However I came across this sentence below, where "llamado" appears before the noun "entierro". Why? Or what part of the structure of this sentence am I misunderstanding?

En algunos lugares de Galicia se hace el llamado entierro de la sardina.

  • 1
    "llamado" is not an adjective.
    – Danielillo
    Mar 8, 2022 at 18:06
  • I think is the same in English. "In some places in Galicia they do something called «entierro de la sardina»". In Spanish the subject is implicit. In English is "something"
    – DGaleano
    Mar 9, 2022 at 13:48
  • This use of llamado is: what is called. El llamado rey de los pobres: The what is called king of the poor.
    – Lambie
    Mar 9, 2022 at 15:17
  • I think in English the most usual translation will be "so-called", where "so" anticipates the name given to the entity being defined.
    – Gustavson
    Mar 10, 2022 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


Although it is true that "llamado" is not, strictly speaking, an adjective, it is a past participle that can accompany a noun.

The question is valid in that "llamado" usually appears after the noun it modifies, for example:

  • En algunos lugares de Galicia se hace un festejo llamado "entierro de la sardina". (Instead of "festejo", we could find other nouns like "acontencimiento", "celebración", etc.) Notice that "entierro de la sardina" should be between quotes, as it is the name given to a ceremony.

Since in the given sentence the noun does not appear, "llamado" (which can also appear in the feminine and in the plural) will appear before the name that is given to that tacit noun:

  • En Valencia practican un juego de naipes llamado "truco" => En Valencia juegan el llamado "truco".
  • La (misión) llamada "operación militar especial" es en realidad una invasión.
  • Los (elementos) llamados "activos intangibles" son difíciles de valorizar.
  • Thanks! Does the gender of "llamado" depend on the name that comes afterwards or on the unsaid word, such as "festivo"?
    – timtam
    Mar 9, 2022 at 19:18
  • The gender and number is that of the noun that follows.
    – Gustavson
    Mar 9, 2022 at 19:54
  • Why? In the sentence "Había una mujer llamada Raquel." it depends on the noun that precedes, why is this not the case here?
    – timtam
    Mar 10, 2022 at 7:57
  • What I meant to say above is that, when there is no noun before, "llamado" has to agree with the noun that follows: una fiesta llamada "entierro de la sardina ("llamada" agrees with "fiesta") vs. el llamado "entierro de la sardina" ("llamado" agrees with "entierro").
    – Gustavson
    Mar 10, 2022 at 9:56

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