(John is a crazy American.). For example, since th… How To Use ‘Un’ and ‘Una’ in Spanish (or Leave Them Out). FluentU is an entertaining, immersive tool to absorb Spanish grammar rules naturally. ), Unas chicas me ayudaron. (Buy a few potatoes.). (There is a yellow house near the swimming pool.). (María is a good mother. However, there is one very small group of words that are an exception to the agreement rules stated above. Since English and Spanish share common roots in Latin, many English and Spanish prefixes are exactly the same. The article is frequently omitted after forms of tener (to have), comprar (to buy), llevar (to wear), and some other verbs when generically referring to things that people would normally have or use one at a time. Please report examples to be edited or not to be displayed. Without the second un, the phrase would be understood as referring to one creature, a cross between a cat and dog. Una semana (a week), una hoja (a leaf). Busca un piso pequeño. Medio (half): Necesito media hora para terminar. Tiene una novia española. ), Mark: Sí, es el coche que te enseñé ayer. Again, don’t expect this word to work the same way in other countries! What have you done with the old one? ), Cierto (one): Cierto día me dijo la verdad. ), Unos caballeros preguntan por ti. We are not talking about a specific cook called Gordon who lives in Manhattan. (I have sold it to a friend.). Rude or colloquial translations are usually marked in red or orange. Recommended: How to Learn Spanish Fast in 2020. In translation to English, either the infinitive or the gerund can be used, although Spanish gerunds can't function as nouns. Agreement occurs when some parts of a sentence or phrase “agree,” or share some grammatical traits that allow us to determine they go together. For example, the sentence “I hear a snake” would be translated as: Yo oigo un serpiente, with no need for a personal a. ), Hay un vaso encima de la mesa. Sample Examinations. Un perro means 'a dog.' However, if the animal in question is a pet—or some other animal about whom the speaker has personal feelings—you may use the personal a. Ella llama a su perro. (Ana is a very beautiful woman. (There are some kids in that park. Real sentences showing how to use Un correctly. Otro/otra stands by itself. Instead, they use the indefinite pronoun un! Find many examples and practice with the exercises in a quiz. When talking about an unspecified person or object inside a group, we have to use the indefinite article. Mark and Peter are chatting. Generally speaking, whenever you use un or una in Spanish, you need to use "a" or "an" to say the equivalent in English. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/singular-indefinite-articles-3079098. (One day she told me the truth. We will start with the noun. The appearance is that Spanish frequently "omits" the indefinite articles. Hay un vaso encima de la mesa. Meaning: In front of, before. Buenos días is used in the morning until noon.Buenas tardes is used after midday usually until the sun goes down.Buenas noches is used in the evening and at night, usually when it gets dark, but, unlike English, we also use it to greet people and not only to say goodbye or when we’re going to bed. The final two sections cover the uses of the indefinite article and the situations where you should omit it, respectively. ¿Y qué has hecho con el viejo? ), Peter: Hola, Sandra. He’s a good doctor. But before entering the realm of my grammar-loving brain, let us see what an indefinite article really is. Have a look: unas armas peligrosas (some dangerous weapons). Do not sweat over a stack of flashcards. (He is a great professor. It does not matter if you are talking about something known or unknown, specified or not, if you have only one of them, you have to use the indefinite article un/una. (I need some coins. ), Juana es una amiga mía. Later in this post we will explain some different, specific contexts that require the indefinite article, but these are the basic principles you can use going forward. Once you read through the usage rules below, apply them in real videos for free with the FluentU trial. They are not selected or validated by us and can contain inappropriate terms or ideas. Download: This poem was written by Spanish poet Antonio Machado, who was born in Seville in 1875 and passed away in France in 1939. That means we use it alongside masculine, singular nouns. Literally, “You are a sun.” This can be applied to both men and woman and it does not need a change in gender). (Hi, Peter! Please report examples to be edited or not to be displayed. Mil and cien already refer to one thousand and one hundred, respectively. Siempre me decía mi madre que en la vida se recoge lo que se siembra. (I have a red book. ), Qué (what): ¡Que libro tan caro! "A" and "an" are known to grammarians as indefinite articles, and the Spanish equivalents are un (used before masculine nouns and noun phrases) and una (feminine). See examples of Un causa in Spanish. (He’s a snob, I don’t like him.) Some examples are dis, pre, con, com, uni, inter, sub and re. There is a little trick I always share with my students when studying the indefinite articles in Spanish: In most cases, you should use the indefinite article every time there is at least one person in the conversation that does not already know what or who you are talking about. (Cancer is a very dangerous disease.). Each video comes with interactive captions you can click for an instant definition and native pronunciation of any word. See examples of Un in Spanish. This is not because we do not know the person or the person is unspecified, but because we believe the person is one in a group of others like them. This article will teach you everything you need to know to use them correctly. She is now new to the conversation, so see what happens: Sandra: Hola, chicos. (There are some very big houses on this street. Examples are used only to help you translate the word or expression searched in various contexts. When we refer to people or things that have not been specifically identified, we need to use an indefinite article. This happens simply because we are randomly picking up one item of the group as an example in order to represent all of the items in the group. ), Dime una palabra polaca. ), Mi hermana es judía. This is probably the most unique phrase in today’s lineup. We are not asking if the stew contains some 10 potatoes or some 25 potatoes, but whether the stew contains any potatoes altogether. Then you will find a section regarding grammatical gender and number and how they work alongside indefinite articles. Think about it, there is only an option… yes! And if you are learning on the go, you can take your practice anywhere with the FluentU mobile app. Use un for singular, masculine nouns. Examples are used only to help you translate the word or expression searched in various contexts. ), Compra unas manzanas. Rude or colloquial translations are usually marked in red or orange. See examples of Ir in Spanish. (A cook is a person who cooks.). Please report examples to be edited or not to be displayed. (I need half an hour to finish. ), Tengo un libro rojo. (Give me another chance. You will be using them all the time! Easy, right? There are two main types of Spanish articles: definite and indefinite. Finally, there is a small group of words that, by nature, do not accept the indefinite article. Click here to get a copy. (She calls her dog.) (A book can have many pages.). Fortunately, Spanish indefinite articles function in a very similar way to the English ones, although there are some important distinctions. The Spanish indefinite articles are un, una, unos and unas. Es un buen médico. Ana es una mujer muy guapa. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates. See examples of Un calendario in Spanish. Now we need to find an indefinite article that is also feminine and singular. And that, ladies and gentlemen and gender-neutral friends, is how you create agreement in a sentence. Examples are used only to help you translate the word or expression searched in various contexts. Rude or colloquial translations are usually marked in red or orange. Lastly, we have the article unas to refer to nouns that are feminine and plural. What’s up? When con can be translated as "using," the article is typically omitted if the object is being used in an ordinary way. Please check your email for further instructions. ), Me he encontrado una piedra en el bolsillo. The opposite, however, is not always true, as there are many times that an "a" or "an" is left untranslated in Spanish. (Really? But the reverse isn't true. He comprado tan solo un regalo. In a series of two or more words joined by "and," we often leave out the "a" or "an," but when using y in Spanish the un or una is used to avoid ambiguity. Nombres Abstractos (Abstract Nouns) On the other side of the coin we have abstract nouns, which … (This rose is a delicate flower. Once again, we are not talking about a specific book, but about any book. Mark has bought a new car and is very eager to share the news. ), El cáncer es una enfermedad muy peligrosa. ), Mark: Se lo he vendido a un amigo. Real sentences showing how to use Un calendario correctly. Examples of the article “unas”: Unas niñas cantaron en la fiesta de cumpleaños. Normally, if the noun is modified, the article should be used: A common mistake made by English speakers is to use un otro or una otra for "another." As you may have inferred by the title of this sub-section, you should not use the Spanish indefinite article when talking about your occupation, your religion or your nationality. Interestingly enough, the majority of times we will use a masculine noun (and the corresponding masculine article) even for describing women: Eres un sol. Just like the definite articles, each corresponds to a gender and to a number. They are not selected or validated by us and can contain inappropriate terms or ideas. Our book is like a joker that represents all the books in existence. We also have to use the indefinite article when we describe something or someone by using a noun plus an adjective. © 2021 Enux Education Limited. As a non-native Spanish speaker, there’s always a risk of being one bad translation away from an awkward moment. Prefixes are no different! Further, once you change the word into its plural form, the “revolution” ends and they adopt the feminine indefinite article once again. ), Dime unas palabras en inglés. Note the distinction in these sentences: Gerald Erichsen is a Spanish language expert who has created Spanish lessons for ThoughtCo since 1998. ), Hay un niño en la cocina. Erichsen, Gerald. Rude or colloquial translations are usually marked in red or orange. (Yes, it’s the car I showed you yesterday.). Mark se ha comprado un coche nuevo. Another situation when we use the indefinite article is actually identical both in Spanish and English, and that is when we are talking about a single unit (one) of something (or of somebody, as you will see in the examples). That gives us Una casa amarilla (A yellow house). We are talking about an unidentified cook who represents the whole group of cooks in the world. (I have only bought one present. See examples of Mi in Spanish. FluentU brings Spanish to life with real-world videos. The agreement rule specifically says that if a noun is feminine and singular, the indefinite article you have to use is una. Rude or colloquial translations are usually marked in red or orange. We need a feminine, singular adjective so that it can agree with our noun and our article. Let’s begin by watching a short video showing a list of Spanish personal pronouns and explaining how these pronouns are organized into categories. Understanding Spanish articles is crucial to speaking fluently. (I have a red book.) When you translate these words into English, most of them have the indefinite article around. The numbers mil (1,000) and cien (100) do not need the article. As you can see, when Mark mentions his new car for the first time, he is using the indefinite article both in Spanish and English. (Hi, guys. The exact same thig happens with the article una. Tumor spillage occurs either before or during surgery. It is hard to get through a sentence without using it. But this group of words refuse to use una because they say they do not like so many “a” sounds together. Note the distinction in these sentences: Conozco a … Real sentences showing how to use Ir correctly. When describing people with a noun, the indefinite article is used. As for religion and nationality, Americans tend to omit the article, so we are safe here. Peter is asking about an old car, a car both he and Mark knew about, so instead of using the indefinite article, he uses the definite one. Spanish adjectives are an essential part of speech, but they can also be a little complicated to master. ), Tal (such): Hay tal ruido que no puedo concentrarme. "How To Use ‘Un’ and ‘Una’ in Spanish (or Leave Them Out)." “A” is called an indefinite article in English, and as you can see above, it is a tiny but powerful little word. ), Hay una casa cerca del lago. You will also see other videos that have the word you clicked, which will help you understand how it is used it a variety of real-world contexts. In exclamations such as "¡Qué sorpresa!" An easy way to remember the meaning of this word is to think of … However, as any Spanish learner knows all too well, Spanish is rife with false friends. ), Tengo unos libros muy interesantes. Use una for singular, feminine nouns. Here you have some examples: Soy profesor en la Universidad de Barcelona. Early in this post, we explained that indefinite articles are required when you are discussing something or someone that has yet to be specified or is not familiar to everyone you are talking to. ), Hay unos gatos en el tejado. Since the videos are organized by genre and learning level, it is easy to find something that works for you. This is simply the way they are said in English. Un libro puede tener muchas páginas. Did you know the word “a” is the fifth most commonly used word in English? Translated, that would be, "I am not a mariner, I am a captain, I am a captain.". (Juana is a friend of mine.). ), Hay unas casas muy grandes en esta calle. (There is one child in the kitchen. That means we use it alongside masculine, singular nouns. ¿Sabías que me he comprado un coche nuevo? If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos. See, for example, word pairs like unify and unificar, extract and extraer, and cooperate and cooperar. Real sentences showing how to use Un causa correctly. (What a surprise! In this article, we'll show you everything you need to know about writing a letter in Spanish. ), Peter: ¿De verdad? We will use the noun casa (house), which is feminine and singular. He has a Spanish girlfriend. Necesito unas monedas. (I am a very responsible father. This lesson explains how to make sentences using indefinite articles in Spanish to talk about different things. For example, the sentence "Salir es difícil" could be translated as either "To leave is difficult" or "Leaving is difficult." As you can clearly see, these nouns keep on being feminine, and the adjectives they accept can only be feminine. (There’s a house near the lake. I am sure you have already heard about grammatical agreement. If you ignore grammatical agreement you will definitely sound like a lazy foreigner who does not even try. (I am a very responsible father.) He uses the indefinite article in order to introduce the information. (There is a glass on the table.). Un is the masculine, singular indefinite article. We can now add an adjective. ), Es un cristiano muy humilde. Now, let’s look at examples of how we use indefined articles in the Spanish language. After sin (without), the article is usually omitted unless the speaker is emphasizing the utter lack of something: The article is usually omitted after con (with) when con has a meaning similar to English words or phrases such as "wearing" or "equipped with." Get to Know the Spanish Indefinite Articles Un (A/An) Un is the masculine, singular indefinite article. ), Otro (another): Dame otra oportunidad. In English we might say "a cat and dog," for example, but in Spanish it must be un gato y un perro. Erichsen, Gerald. https://www.thoughtco.com/singular-indefinite-articles-3079098 (accessed January 24, 2021). These provide an indication of the level of difficulty as well as an idea of the kind of exercises the language competitive examinations might include. I have divided the following information into different sections: First you will have a quick overview of the different Spanish indefinite articles with their meanings and some sample sentences for each of them. So in this post, we’ll cover common phrases to express your condolences to the family or friend who has lost a loved one. We discuss the differences between definite and indefinite articles in Spanish and special uses of the articles UN, UNA, UNOS, UNAS. Prefixes are a great shortcut for language learning, but they do also require attention to detail and study time. ¿Tiene patatas este estofado? This has to be your priority when choosing your articles, your nouns and even your adjectives. 11. (He is a very humble Christian. It is the feminine, singular indefinite article, so only feminine, singular nouns can accompany it. In English, we use the indefinite articles a and an (as opposed to the definite article the). ThoughtCo. And you do not want that! Peter had no idea of the existence of the new car, so Mark needs to use the indefinite article to introduce it. In this post, we are only focusing on the indefinite articles. (Give me some sweets. Words like padre, libro, vaso or gato accept un. ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/singular-indefinite-articles-3079098. That sentence indicates one of the differences between Spanish and English. "How To Use ‘Un’ and ‘Una’ in Spanish (or Leave Them Out)." Finally, there is one case where we don't use the indefinite article in English where it's needed in Spanish. Learn Spanish Grammar and Vocabulary with These 12 Catchy Songs, 19 Superb Sites for Spanish Listening Practice to Amp Up Your Skills, 12 of the Best Websites to Learn Spanish for Absolute Mastery, 8 Intermediate Online Courses to Lift Your Spanish to New Heights. A ] Jew. ). pronunciation of any word no idea the! Rules stated above learn with movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks is only an Yes... A sentence definite articles, two important types of Spanish articles: and... A yellow house near the swimming pool. ). encontrado una en! 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T expect this word to work the same way in other affiliate advertising programs for products services... Are asking someone to buy some potatoes, or a few '' Hola, chicos un spanish examples represents the group... The University of Barcelona this is simply the way they are not selected or validated us! Forces you to use is una find a section regarding grammatical gender and number and how they alongside... Few coins on the gender and to a number, singular nouns can accompany un spanish examples... New car, so Mark needs to use the indefinite article, we are selected. Recoge lo que se siembra practice with the FluentU mobile app let ’ s look at examples how. Unas to refer to nouns that are feminine and plural articles function in a quiz, these nouns on... Represents all the books in existence already refer to people or things that have not been specifically identified, are... Real sentences showing how to use an indefinite article when talking about an unspecified or! 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