Indefinite Article – un, una, unos, unas

Spanish indefinite articles
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Artículo indefinido

The aptly named indefinite article indicates an unspecific or unidentified noun.

Por ejemplo…

Veo a una gata y a un perro.   I see a cat and a dog.
Tiene una idea.   He has an idea.

Characteristics of indefinite articles

  1. Used with countable nouns (as opposed to uncountable nouns like money and water)
  2. Placed directly in front of a noun or an adjective + noun
  3. Agree with the noun in number and sometimes gender

Spanish indefinite articles

    Masculine   Feminine
a, an, one   un   una
some   unos   unas

+ There are two singular articles, each of which can mean a, an, or one:

  1. Masculine: un
  2. Feminine: una

+ Likewise, there are two plural indefinite articles. Both are equivalent to "some":

  1. Masculine plural: unos
  2. Feminine plural: unas

Using indefinite articles

You can use indefinite articles in front of unnamed, unidentified, or unspecified nouns, as long as they are countable.

Por ejemplo…

Hay un problema.   There’s a problem. (What problem?)
Una turista resultó herida.   A tourist was wounded. (Who?)

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 referring to a person’s profession, the indefinite article 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

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Indefinite articles in Spanish