Using alguno, alguna, algunos and algunas to say some, one or any (pronouns)

We use the indefinite pronoun alguno, alguna, algunos and algunas to say some, one or any. 

Read and listen to these examples:

Necesito un bolígrafo. ¿Tienes alguno?
I need a pen. Do you have one?

A Melisa le hace falta una camisa roja. ¿Le prestas alguna?
Melisa needs a red shirt. Can you lend her one?

-Fuimos a ver museos. -Muy bien, y ¿pudisteis visitar algunos?
-We went to see museums. -Very good, and did you manage to visit any?

Tengo muchas postales de Venecia, ¿quieres algunas?
I have many postcards from Venice, do you want some?

The indefinite pronoun alguno, alguna, algunos and algunas always agree with the noun they modify.

BUT BE CAREFUL

Sometimes, when alguno and alguna are used in affirmative sentences, it has the nuance of "some random something/someone", "one or two" or "the odd one". The idea is non-specific in number and can refer to one or more items. It does agree in gender but not in number: even it refers to a plural noun, the pronoun is in the singular form, not the plural form.  In addition, the most natural English translation may not be a singular equivalent.

For example:

-¿Probaste muchos platos exóticos en el evento gastronómico? -Sí, probé alguno.
-Did you try lots of exotic dishes in the gastronomic event? -Yes, I tried the odd one.

-¿Probaste muchos platos exóticos en el evento gastronómico? -Sí, probé alguno.
-Did you try lots of exotic dishes in the gastronomic event? -Yes, I tried some (random dishes).

-¿Probaste muchos platos exóticos en el evento gastronómico? -Sí, probé alguno.
-Did you try lots of exotic dishes in the gastronomic event? -Yes, I tried one or two.

 

Have a look at the following examples:

A mi madre le gusta recibir libros en su cumpleaños, así que necesito comprar alguno antes de mañana.
My mum likes receiving books for her birthday, so I need to buy one (any random book) before tomorrow.

Tenía muchos amigos en Valencia y siempre podía salir con alguno por las noches.
I had many friends in Valencia and I could always go out with someone (a random friend) in the evenings.

Don't confuse the indefinite pronoun alguno with the indefinite adjective algún. You can never use algún without a noun!

Guillermo no conocía muchos bares y quería ir a algún. ALGUNO.
Guillermo didn't know many pubs and he wanted to go to some (a random pub).

See also Pronombre indefinido

 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

A Melisa le hace falta una camisa roja. ¿Le prestas alguna?
Melisa needs a red shirt. Can you lend her one?


A mi madre le gusta recibir libros en su cumpleaños, así que necesito comprar alguno antes de mañana.
My mum likes receiving books for her birthday, so I need to buy one (any random book) before tomorrow.


Tengo muchas postales de Venecia, ¿quieres algunas?
I have many postcards from Venice, do you want some?


Necesito un bolígrafo. ¿Tienes alguno?
I need a pen. Do you have one?


Tenía muchos amigos en Valencia y siempre podía salir con alguno por las noches.
I had many friends in Valencia and I could always go out with someone (a random friend) in the evenings.


-¿Probaste muchos platos exóticos en el evento gastronómico? -Sí, probé alguno.
-Did you try lots of exotic dishes in the gastronomic event? -Yes, I tried some (random dishes).


-Fuimos a ver museos. -Muy bien, y ¿pudisteis visitar algunos?
-We went to see museums. -Very good, and did you manage to visit any?


-¿Probaste muchos platos exóticos en el evento gastronómico? -Sí, probé alguno.
-Did you try lots of exotic dishes in the gastronomic event? -Yes, I tried one or two.


Guillermo no conocía muchos bares y quería ir a algún. ALGUNO.
Guillermo didn't know many pubs and he wanted to go to some (a random pub).


-¿Probaste muchos platos exóticos en el evento gastronómico? -Sí, probé alguno.
-Did you try lots of exotic dishes in the gastronomic event? -Yes, I tried the odd one.


Q&A Forum 2 questions, 7 answers

Alguno/s vs. uno/s

Can they be used synonymously? What is the difference in meaning and use between the two?

Asked 1 week ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Emanuel

They are not always interchangeable. In these two sentences taken from the lesson, they are interchangeable:

Necesito un bolígrafo. ¿Tienes alguno/uno?

I need a pen. Do you have one?

A Melisa le hace falta una camisa roja. ¿Le prestas alguna/una?

Melisa needs a red shirt. Can you lend her one?

However in the examples with the plurals "algunos/algunas" we wouldn't use the plural "unos/unas":

-Fuimos a ver museos. -Muy bien, y ¿pudisteis visitar algunos? (not "unos")

-We went to see museums. -Very good, and did you manage to visit any?  

Tengo muchas postales de Venecia, ¿quieres algunas? (not "unas")

I have many postcards from Venice, do you want some?

Also, when we refer with alguno/alguna to "the odd one/ a random one" you cannot use "uno/una", because then it won't mean "the odd one/a random one":

¿Probaste muchos platos exóticos en el evento gastronómico? -Sí, probé alguno.

-Did you try lots of exotic dishes in the gastronomic event? -Yes, I tried some (random dishes).

¿Probaste muchos platos exóticos en el evento gastronómico? -Sí, probé uno.

-Did you try lots of exotic dishes in the gastronomic event? -Yes, I tried ONE.

It would mean something different in this case.

Saludos

Inma

 

 

Alguno/s vs. uno/s

Can they be used synonymously? What is the difference in meaning and use between the two?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Bad English translation

There were many experts in the room and I talked to some.

The answer here would be algunos. But it is marked "alguno". That would be in English, "I talked to one (of them).

Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Allison

There is a hint in these questions that is saying either "Choose the correct singular form" or "Choose the correct plural form", because in English there are slightly different ways to translate alguno/alguna/algunos/algunas, and it may be a bit confusing.

In this specific question you are talking about, despite having the word "some" in the English translation, we have included a hint saying "Choose the correct singular form".

However, we will have a look at this lesson again and will try to improve it so the information is clearer.

Gracias y saludos,

Inma

Hi Inma,

I agree with Allison. It seems as though the hint should suggest plural, not singular, so it matches expertos. Algunos expertos.

I am also confused with the sample test:

En España había muchas tapas y comí select ... algunasalgunaalgunoalgunos . (In Spain there were many tapas and I ate some.) 

Choose the correct singular form.

In English "some" in this sentence means "a few of them" NOT "one of them"

Can you please clarify whether the Spanish sentence means to say "a few of them" or "one of them" and tell me the correct Spanish for both versions of this sentence?

Thank you.

InmaKwiziq language super star

Hi Brett 

We extended a note inside the lesson to clarify better when alguno is used in singular and not plural when in English you use the plural "some".

The note starts with "But be careful..."

Using alguno, alguna, algunos and algunas to say some, one or any (pronouns)

Inma

 

InmaKwiziq language super star

Allison

have a look at the new extended note about using alguno in singular not plural. 

Using alguno, alguna, algunos and algunas to say some, one or any (pronouns)

Inma

Thanks so much, Inma, this makes much more sense now.

Bad English translation

There were many experts in the room and I talked to some.

The answer here would be algunos. But it is marked "alguno". That would be in English, "I talked to one (of them).

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Thinking...