Using algún (a, as, os) to say some or any

We use the indefinite adjective algún (a, os, as) to say some or any. 

Read and listen to these examples:

¿Tienes algún problema? No, pero gracias por preguntar.
Do you have any problems? No, but thanks for asking.

Habíamos necesitado algunas voluntarias para la rifa.
We had needed some volunteers for the raffle.

Algunos teléfonos que compraron no eran de buena calidad.
Some of the phones that they bought were not of a good quality.

Algunas algas marinas tienen propiedades medicinales.
Some seaweed have medicinal properties.

Notice how in the interrogative phrases above, the indefinite adjectives mean any and not some.
The indefinite adjective algún (a, os, as) always agree with the noun they modify.

Sometimes, when algún and alguna are used in affirmative sentences, it has the nuance of "some random something/someone".

Have a look at the following examples:

-¿Qué ha pasado? -Algún niño ha roto la ventana.
-What happened? -Some kid broke the window.

-¿Dónde estaba ese artículo interesante? -En alguna revista de moda.
-Where was that interesting article? -In some fashion magazine.

Don't mix the indefinite adjective algún with the indefinite pronoun alguno. You can never use alguno with a noun!

¿Viste a algún famoso en Miami? Sí, vi a alguno.
Did you see any famous people in Miami? Yes, I saw some.

See also Adjetivo indefinido

 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Habíamos necesitado algunas voluntarias para la rifa.
We had needed some volunteers for the raffle.


-¿Qué ha pasado? -Algún niño ha roto la ventana.
-What happened? -Some kid broke the window.


¿Tienes algún problema? No, pero gracias por preguntar.
Do you have any problems? No, but thanks for asking.


¿Viste a algún famoso en Miami? Sí, vi a alguno.
Did you see any famous people in Miami? Yes, I saw some.


Algunas algas marinas tienen propiedades medicinales.
Some seaweed have medicinal properties.


Algunos teléfonos que compraron no eran de buena calidad.
Some of the phones that they bought were not of a good quality.


-¿Dónde estaba ese artículo interesante? -En alguna revista de moda.
-Where was that interesting article? -In some fashion magazine.


Q&A

Ricky

Kwiziq community member

10 January 2019

3 replies

un or algun?

What is the difference between un, uno and algún, alguno?

Ricky

Kwiziq community member

10 January 2019

10/01/19

Sorry, I meant unos vs algunos for "some"?

Ricky

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

10 January 2019

10/01/19

Hola Ricky

Most of the time unos and algunos are interchangeable. However if we mean "some" as in an approximate quantity of something we use "unos" not "algunos". For example "Vendimos unas 30 camisetas en el mercado." (We sold "about" 30 t-shirts in the market.) (We wouldn't use "algunas 30 camisetas...here). 

Also, if it is accompanied by "de" as in "some of [noun]..." we would use "algunos" not " unos. For example: "Algunos de nuestros amigos son muy irresponsables." (Some of our friends are very irresponsible.) (We wouldn't use "unos de..." here.)

I hope this helps.

Inma :))

Ricky

Kwiziq community member

10 January 2019

10/01/19

Thanks, Inma. Good explanation!

Ricky

allison

Kwiziq community member

5 September 2018

1 reply

What is the purpose of "se" in this sentence?

"Algunas compradoras se gastan mucho dinero en las rebajas." means...

Why not "Algunas compradoras gastan mucho dinero..." There is no passive voice here; "Some shoppers" is the subject of this sentence.

This problem arises often in my readings of Spanish, and I would love to understand it. Is this a passive, reflexive, or accidental use of "se"?

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

9 September 2018

9/09/18

Hi Allison

Sorry about the delay.

This "se" is intensifying the meaning of the verb. This is one of the specific uses of "se". Another example would be:

"Se fue muy rápido" (She left very quickly) or "Se comió la mitad de la tarta" (He ate half the cake)

It is very commonly used in Spanish. That's why you keep seeing it in your readings.

I hope this helps

Inma

Let me take a look at that...