- How to Use the Indefinite Articles
- How to Form the Indefinite Articles
- Comparison Between Definite and Indefinite Articles
Indefinite articles (los artículos indeterminados) accompany non-specific nouns. Let's learn how to use them!
Me estoy comiendo unas manzanas.
I'm eating some apples.
How to Use the Indefinite Articles
Rule 1. Indefinite articles are used when it is not important to specify the noun, or when the noun has not been mentioned before.
Unos libros están en la mesa.
Some books are on the table.
In the previous example, it is only mentioned that some books are on the table without specifying what kind of books they are, and it is understood that they have not been mentioned before either. It is an ambiguous fact.
Rule 2. They are also used to indicate the quantity of 1.
Me da una entrada para la película
Can I have a ticket for the movie?
Rule 3. Indefinite articles are also used with the verb hay when talking about the existence of something.
Hay unos jitomates en el refri.
There are some tomatoes in the fridge.
How to Form the Indefinite Articles
Similar to definite articles (el la, los, las), indefinite articles accompany nouns. Therefore, they must agree in gender and number with them.
Un estudiante no vino a la clase.
A student did not come to class.
Unas plantas crecen el jardín.
Some plants grow in the garden.
Comparison Between Definite and Indefinite Articles
As mentioned above, indefinite articles are mainly used when the noun has not been mentioned or specified, in contrast to definite articles. Let's look at some examples of these differences side by side.
|Definite article||Indefinite article||Explanation|
|Los libros están en la mesa.||Unos libros están en la mesa.||In the first example, it is understood that the interlocutors already know what books are being referred to. In the second example, it is understood that only general information is being given.|
|Un hijo de mi tío.||El hijo mayor de mi tío.||In the first example, I am talking about one of my uncle's children. In the second, I am using a definite article because I am specifying which one.|
|Me da una naranja, por favor.||Me gustan las naranjas.||In the first example, I use the indefinite article to ask for one orange, while in the second I am talking about the fact that I like them in a general sense.|
Me da _________ entrada para el concierto, por favor.