Spanish Indefinite Articles

Beginner Spanish - Level A1

Overview

The indefinite article is used to refer to a non-specific item. It also follows the gender-number rule. There are four forms for the indefinite article in Spanish: un, una, unos, unas.

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Spanish A1

 

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Spanish Indefinite Articles

When we use indefinite articles in English we are using the words “a”, “an”, or “some”. We use these when we don’t have a specific object in mind but rather a more general idea. For example, “I want an apple for snack” rather than “I want the red apple in the bowl for snack”.

In Spanish we use indefinite articles too! But, just like with the definite articles in the previous module (Definite Articles Module), these indefinite articles will also need to agree in gender and number with the noun they modify. The Spanish indefinite articles are ununaunos, and unas.

In Spanish the indefinite article word order is just like English – the article will come directly before the noun it modifies.

See the chart below that breaks down these articles in gender and number:
Spanish English 
 Un  A / An (singular, masculine)
 Una  A / An (singular, feminine)
 Unos  Some (plural, masculine)
 Unas  Some (plural, feminine)


Now let’s see how these indefinite articles work when paired with a noun:

 

Singular

Plural

Masculine

Un chico (a boy)

Unos chicos (some boys)

Feminine

Una chica (a girl)

Unas chicas (some girls)

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What is an Indefinite Article?

An indefinite article in Spanish indicates generalization when speaking of nouns.

In Spanish, the indefinite articles are un, una, unos, and unas. Spanish indefinite articles must match in gender and plurality with the noun in question.

Being able to master correct article usage will help your Spanish sound more natural and coherent. Native speakers could understand what you are saying if you make a mistake, yet sometimes words can change meaning dependent on their gender and plurality.

In English, a speaker can say: Some dogs eat meat.
The article, in this case, is “some”. This indicates a generalization of a group.

Un padre   a dad                                      Una madre  a mom

Unos padres  some dads/ parents           Unas madres   some moms

Let's practice! Choose the best answer below. Click READ MORE to see the answer key! 

1. Do all Spanish indefinite articles translate to “a” or “an”?

   a. Yes
   b. No

2. What do Spanish indefinite articles do?
   a. Indicate specificity directed towards the noun
   b. Indicate generalization directed towards the noun
   c. Make beginning Spanish learners sound less fluent
   d. Both a. and c.

3. True or False? In Spanish...
   a. … unas means “the”
   b. … definite and indefinite articles are the same
   c. … indefinite articles must match the noun’s gender and plurality

4. Match the indefinite article to its correct plurality: Singular (S) and Plural (P):
   a. Un
   b  Unas. 
   c. Una
   d. Unos

5. Match the indefinite article to its correct gender: Masculine (M) and Feminine (F):
   a. Una
   b. Unas
   c. Un
   d. Unos

6. ___________ hermana
   a. Una
   b. Unas
   c. Un
   d. Unos

7. ___________ teléfonos
   a. Una
   b. Unas
   c. Un
   d. Unos

8. ___________ libros
   a. Una
   b. Unas
   c. Un
   d. Unos

9. ___________ plumas
   a. Una
   b. Unas
   c. Un
   d. Unos

10. ___________ plato
   a. Una
   b. Unas
   c. Un
   d. Unos

Answer Key:
1. b, 2. b, 3. a. False, b. false, c. true, 4. a. (S), b. (P), c. (S), c. (P), 5. a. (F), b. (F), c. (M), d. (M), 6. A, 7. D, 8. D, 9. B, 10. C

1. Do all Spanish indefinite articles translate to “a” or “an”?
   a. Yes
   b. No

2. What do Spanish indefinite articles do?
   a. Indicate specificity directed towards the noun
   b. Indicate generalization directed towards the noun
   c. Make beginning Spanish learners sound less fluent
   d. Both a. and c.

3. True or False? In Spanish...
   a. … unas means “the”
   b. … definite and indefinite articles are the same
   c. … indefinite articles must match the noun’s gender and plurality

4. Match the indefinite article to its correct plurality: Singular (S) and Plural (P):
   a. Un
   b  Unas. 
   c. Una
   d. Unos

5. Match the indefinite article to its correct gender: Masculine (M) and Feminine (F):
   a. Una
   b. Unas
   c. Un
   d. Unos
Answers:
1. b
2. b
3. a. False, b. false, c. true
4. a. (S), b. (P), c. (S), c. (P)
5. a. (F), b. (F), c. (M), d. (M)

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