HomeQ&AAlguno vs Algo: adjective, pronoun or adverb ? (by Lazarus)

Alguno vs Algo: adjective, pronoun or adverb ? (by Lazarus)

Reference article on alguno/algún and algo, written by Lazarus

Alguno

As an adjective, it modifies the noun it precedes, when you don't refer to anyone or anything in particular among several possible options, like 'some? for statements or 'any? for questions and conditional sentences.

  • algunas veces (sometimes)
  • alguna película (any movie)

Used after a noun it means whatsoever, (not) at all, or simply none.

  • Sin motivo alguno (for no reason at all)
  • No hay problema alguno (There is no problem at all)

Algunos/as can be translated as several.

  • Me comí algunas magdalenas (I eat up several muffins)

As a pronoun, it is like the adjective before the noun, but the noun is intended from the context.

  • Han venido algunos (Some of them came)
  • Algunas son más caras que otras (Some are more expensive than others)

In English it has many translations:

  • Alguno de tus hijos (One of your sons)
  • Quiero uno (I want one)
  • Siempre protesta alguno (There is always one who complains)

Algún

Algún is just the short form of Alguno and follows the same rules. You must use algún in front of masculine nouns in singular (algún hombre), or feminine singular when the noun starts with a stressed a (á) sound, like 'águila', 'hacha', or 'agua.'

Algo

In general, in statements it means something, and in interrogative and conditional sentences, anything.

As an adverb, it means a little or somewhat.

  • Estoy algo cansado (I am a bit tired)
  • Se queja algo, pero está mejor (He complains a little, but he is better)
  • Estoy algo más tranquilo (I am a bit more calmed)

Also, as a pronoun and followed by de, its meaning is similar to the adverb: it indicates 'a bit', 'part of', 'something'... referring to just a (small) fraction of a whole.

  • Algo de comer (something to eat --> not necessarily a full meal)
  • Algo de carne (a bit of meat)
  • Algo de ruido (a bit of noise)
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updated Feb 16, 2012
edited by Paralee
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