Using un, una to say a/an (singular indefinite articles)

Look at these examples.

Ana compra una planta.
Ana buys a plant.

Eso es un paraguas.
That is an umbrella.

Es un excelente actor.
He is an excellent actor.

¡Tengo una idea!
I have an idea!

Note that to express a/an + [singular noun] in Spanish, you use either un or una, depending on the gender of the noun it refers to, as follows:

una for feminine singular nouns
un for masculine singular nouns

You can never use uno, instead of un.

Tengo uno coche.

Tengo un coche.

Uno is not an article, but the actual number one, and it works as a pronoun. See also Using numbers as pronouns.
It is important to remember that in Spanish, like in all Latin languages, every noun is either masculine or feminine.
and Using los or las to say the (plural definite articles)

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Eso es un paraguas.
That is an umbrella.


Ana compra una planta.
Ana buys a plant.


Es un excelente actor.
He is an excellent actor.


¡Tengo una idea!
I have an idea!


Q&A

Carole

Kwiziq community member

5 May 2018

1 reply

So if I want to say that I only drive ONE car I would say Solo conduzco UNO coche?

Silvia

Kwiziq language super star

5 May 2018

5/05/18

¡Hola Carole! As the lesson says, we can never use "uno" in front of a noun, because in Spanish "uno" is always used as a pronoun. I have added an example to the lesson so that this is more clear, and you can also find a link to a lesson with numbers used as pronouns. I hope this helps you to understand better. ¡Gracias! Silvia.

Dianna

Kwiziq community member

18 April 2018

1 reply

ho do i get better

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

18 April 2018

18/04/18

What do you mean Dianna?
Clever stuff underway!