Once you have learned the definite articles in Spanish, the natural next step is to tackle the indefinite articles in Spanish. By means of an explanation, an indefinite article translates into “a”, “an” or “a few”. Similar to definite articles, indefinite articles in Spanish modify and also agree with nouns in both gender and number (i.e. masculine or feminine, and singular or plural).
Indefinite articles in Spanish
In Spanish, there are 4 different forms of the indefinite article as follows:
- un (masculine, singular)
- una (feminine, singular)
- unos (masculine, plural)
- unas (feminine, plural)
“un” and “una” are the singular indefinite articles in Spanish. while “unos” and “unas” are the plural indefinite articles in Spanish.
Since each object or noun in Spanish is either feminine or masculine, make sure that your indefinite article always agrees.
Let’s take a look at a list of how the indefinite articles in Spanish should match the gender and number of nouns:
- un gato (A cat. “gato” is a masculine noun so it takes “un” as an indefinite article)
- unos gatos (since “gato” is masculine, if you want to express it in the plural form, it will use “unos”)
In every language, there will always be some exceptions to the general rule. With the indefinite article in Spanish, if the singular noun begins with a stressed “a” or “ha” sound, the masculine form of the indefinite article must be used.
Exceptions for indefinite articles
Below you will find a list of exceptions. You will see that although the noun takes the masculine form in the singular, it will revert to the feminine when expressed in the plural.
- un aula is a feminine noun but takes a masculine indefinite article in the singular, but the feminine indefinite article when expressed as a plural (unas aulas).
- un arpa in the singular, but unas arpas in the plural
- un águila in the singular, but unas águilas in the plural
- un hacha, but unas hachas in the plural
A very important thing to note is that although we include the indefinite article in English when using the verb “to be”, it is omitted in Spanish with the verb “ser” when used to describe a nationality, a religion or a profession. However, if your noun is used after an adjective, you won’t omit the article in Spanish.
Here are a few examples of this rule:
- Soy músico (I am a musician)
- Soy enfermera (I am a nurse)
- Ella es una excelente enfermera (she is an excellent nurse)
- Ella es estudiante de medicina (she is a medical student)
Although they can be trick to learn, definite and indefinite articles in Spanish are very important. It is definitely worth spending some extra time on them so that you can master the concept. Now that you have learned the use of the indefinite articles, you may want to review the definite articles in Spanish to understand the difference between both of them.
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