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Spanish Indefinite Articles: A Complete Guide

In Spanish, there are four indefinite articles: un, una, unos, and unas. These articles are used to refer to general or nonspecific nouns. In English, we often use the indefinite article “a” or “an” in these cases.

For example, in English we might say “I want to buy a car.” In Spanish, we would say “Quiero comprar un carro.” The indefinite article “un” is used before the masculine singular noun “carro.”

In this guide, we will learn everything you need to know about Spanish indefinite articles. We will cover the following topics:

  • How to use indefinite articles with masculine and feminine nouns
  • How to use indefinite articles with singular and plural nouns
  • How to determine the gender of a noun
  • Common mistakes to avoid with indefinite articles

By the end of this guide, you will be a pro at using Spanish indefinite articles!

In Spanish there are 4 indefinite articles: un, una, unos & unas in English its one: the. See chart below for correct Definite articles 

masculine or feminine & singular or plural EnglishSpanish
un is used before masculine singular nouns.the carun carro
una is used before feminine singular nouns.the appleuna manzana
unos  is used before masculine plural nouns.the carsunos carros
unas  is used before feminine plural nouns.the applesunas manzana
Spanish Definite articles Chart

indefinite Articles explained

Spanish definite articles are used to refer to specific nouns, while Spanish indefinite articles are used to refer to general or nonspecific nouns.

Definite articles in Spanish are:

  • el (masculine singular)
  • la (feminine singular)
  • los (masculine plural)
  • las (feminine plural)

Indefinite articles in Spanish are:

  • un (masculine singular)
  • una (feminine singular)
  • unos (masculine plural)
  • unas (feminine plural)

Here are some examples of how to use definite and indefinite articles in Spanish:

  • Definite articles:
    • El libro es rojo. (The book is red.)
    • La casa es grande. (The house is big.)
    • Los perros son negros. (The dogs are black.)
    • Las mujeres son bonitas. (The women are pretty.)
  • Indefinite articles:
    • Quiero comprar un libro. (I want to buy a book.)
    • Necesito una casa. (I need a house.)
    • Vi unos perros. (I saw some dogs.)
    • Conocí a unas mujeres. (I met some women.)

What is the difference between definite and indefinite articles? 

  • Definite Articles: definite, specific
  • Indefinite Articles: not definite, not specific

Spanish Indefinite Articles video lesson

Indefinite Articles in Spanish, Learn Spanish With Teacher Catalina Lesson 27

  • Nouns are people, places and things.
  • Adjectives are words that describe nouns. They have a gender and match in number or quantities. They can either be feminine or masculine. Usually nouns that end in -o are masculine and ones that end in -a are feminine. It’s not an absolute rule but a good rule to know.
Definite ArticleNounFeminine or MasculineSingular or Plural
elcarroMasculineSingular
loscarrosMasculinePlural
lamanzanaFeminineSingular
lasmanzanasFemininePlural

INSERT INDEFINITE ARTICLE GRAPHIC

Indefinite ArticleNounFeminine or MasculineSingular or Plural
uncarroMasculineSingular
unoscarrosMasculinePlural
unamanzanaFeminineSingular
unasmanzanasFemininePlural

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DEEP DIVE! What is the focus from this lesson?

We are going to learn how to say the feminine singular and feminine plural and the masculine singular and masculine plural. 

Let’s look at this example together:

Quiero _____ carro.

Quiero_____carro.
  carro is singular and masculine
Quierouncarro.
  carro is singular and masculine

Quiero _____ empanada.

Quiero_____empanada.
  empanada is singular and feminine
Quierounaempanada.
  empanada is singular and feminine

Quiero _____ carros.

Quiero_____carros.
  carros is plural and masculine
Quierounoscarros.
  carros is plural and masculine

Quiero _____ empanadas.

Quiero_____empanadas.
  empanadas is plural and feminine
Quierounasempanadas.
  empanadas is plural and feminine

What are indefinite articles?

  • So now we have learned that you have to choose between four indefinite articles: un, una, unos, unas
  • You select the correct definite article depending on the noun that it follows that can be either masculine or feminine (i.e. their gender)

Independent Practice:

NounFeminine or MasculineSingular or Pluralun, una, unos, unas
helado Singularun
heladosMasculine  
niñaFeminine  
niñas Pluralunas

What did we learn?

  • How to make nouns singular or plural? If it ends in a vowel add-s. If it ends in a consonant add -es.
  • How to determine if nouns are feminine or masculine? Most that end in -o are masculine. Most that end in -a are feminine. The others have to memorized.
  • How to add indefinite articles to nouns? Basically ‘a, an, some’ in English or a specific item like a car or an empanada. There are four are: un, una, unos, unas