Indefinite Article – un, una, unos, unas

Spanish indefinite articlesArtículo indefinido

The Spanish indefinite article is sometimes confusing for beginning students, because it has to agree in gender and number with the noun it modifies, and it doesn’t always correspond to an article in other languages.

For me, it helps to remember that if you have a noun in Spanish, there is virtually always an article (either indefinite or definite) in front of it, unless you use a possessive (my, your, etc.) or a demonstrative (this, that) adjective. It is also vital that when you learn new vocabulary, you make sure to learn the gender of each noun, because the articles (as well as adjectives, pronouns, and just about everything else) change according to the gender of the noun.

The singular indefinite articles in Spanish correspond to "a, an, one" in English. The plurals correspond to "some." There are four Spanish indefinite articles.

    Singular   Plural
Masculine   un   unos
Feminine   una   unas

Using indefinite articles

The indefinite article usually refers to an unspecified person or thing.

Quiero a un gato o a un perro.   I want a cat or a dog.
Tiene una idea.   He has an idea.

The indefinite article can also refer to just one of something:

Hay un estudiante en la sala.   There is one student in the room.
Tengo solamente una hermana.   I only have one sister.

The plural indefinite article means "some":

Compré unas naranjas.   I bought some oranges.
Quiero unos libros.   I want some books.

When refering to a person’s profession, the indefinite is not used in Spanish, although it is used in English.

Soy profesor.   I am a teacher.
Ana quiere ser médica.   Ana wants to be a doctor.

Related lessons

Spanish lesson plans Spanish lesson plans

Learn French En français