Unit 1.1

Indefinite articles

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Introduction

Articles [artículos] are words that accompany a noun. They can be indefinite or definite.

Indefinite articles [artículos indefinidos] refer to something general that is unknown to the speaker.

Form

Indefinite articles have four forms and are differentiated by gender and number: un, una, unos, unas.

They are placed before nouns and adjectives or other modifiers that appear before nouns.

In noun phrases, they are in the first position (they precede all other elements).

According to gender and number, they are distributed as follows:

Singular Plural
Masculino un unos
Femenino una unas

Example

  1. To talk about something for the first time:
    • Tengo un tractor amarillo;
    • Compré una rosa roja;
    • Adopté unos gatos blancos;
    • Gané unas entradas de cine negro.
  2. To talk about something unknown:
    • Un tipo de pescado azul;
    • Una especie de animal naranja;
    • Unos modelos de coches rosas;
    • Unas razas de perros marrones.

Use

Indefinite articles are used to:

  1. Talk about something for the first time (to express new information);
  2. Talk about something unknown, and we cannot identify.

Summary

Indefinite articles are used to refer to something general and not specific. In Spanish, indefinite articles change gender (masculine, feminine) and number (singular, plural). They are used before nouns and after verbs.

For example:

Por ejemplo:
— «Ayer me compré una falda. La falda es muy bonita.» = we write una falda (=indefinite article) when it has not been mentioned before and la falda (=definite article) the second time it is mentioned;

— «¿Tienes una mesa de madera?» = Una is in the feminine singular and is used to express that the speaker does not know a piece of information;

— «¿Tienes un balón de fútbol?» = Un is in the feminine singular and is used to express that the speaker does not know a piece of information

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.

Exercises


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