In Spanish, there are some phrases and words that minimize a quality. At more advanced levels, you can start using them in place of words such as un poco, poquito, mucho, etc.
Esta caja está algo pesada.
This box is a little heavy.
The Indefinite Pronoun Algo
Rule 1. Algo is always a pronoun. As its name suggests, it is used with nouns that cannot be defined because they are unknown or there is insufficient information about them. It could be translated as something.
Vi algo allá que se movio.
I saw something over there that moved.
Using Algo with Adjectives
Rule 2. However, when used with an adjective or a description, it has the function of minimizing it. It can substitute a word like poquito. It is most commonly used in informal language. It can be translated as somewhat.
In this case, it has to be used as follows:
verb ser + algo + adjective
La obra es algo abstracta.
The work is somewhat abstract.
Rule 3. It can also be used with the verb estar, which refers more to the temporal state of a noun instead of a characteristic.
verb estar + algo + adjective
Las maletas están algo pesadas.
The suitcases are somewhat heavy.
Similarly, since the verb estar is used, it can be used with emotions or moods, which are also temporal states.
Estoy algo nerviosa por la presentación.
I am a little nervous about the presentation.
Rule 4. It can also be used simply as an answer when talking about degrees of difficulty. In this case, it would be the equivalent of más o menos.
- ¿Está difícil la tarea?
- Is the task difficult?
- More or less.
____ algo triste. (ella)