Spanish Indefinite Articles

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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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:

SpanishEnglish 
 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:

 SingularPlural
MasculineUn chico (a boy)Unos chicos (some boys)
FeminineUna chica (a girl)Unas chicas (some girls)

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:

Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Specific Capabilities at this Level

Writing:
I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
Reading:
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
Listening:
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.