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Quick answer
"Un" is an indefinite article which is often translated as "a", and "alguno" is an adjective which is often translated as "some". Learn more about the difference between "un" and "alguno" below.
un(
oon
)
An indefinite article is a word that indicates that a noun is not specific (e.g. a girl).
1. (singular)
a. a
Había un coche estacionado en la puerta.There was a car parked at the gate.
b. an (before vowel sound)
Tienen una vieja cámara que todavía funciona.They have an old camera which is still working.
2. (plural)
a. some
Compré unos libros muy interesantes.I bought some very interesting books.
Conseguí unas manzanas deliciosas en el mercado.I got some delicious apples at the market.
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alguno(
ahl
-
goo
-
noh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (indeterminate)
a. some (in affirmative clauses)
Dime que traes alguna buena noticia.Tell me you have some good news.
b. any (in interrogative or negative clauses)
¿Tiene algún error mi ensayo?Does my essay have any errors?
c. a (in interrogative or negative clauses)
¿Tienes alguna camiseta que me puedes prestar?Do you have a shirt that you can lend me?
d. a few (plural)
Tenemos algunas bolsas, pero vamos a necesitar más.We have a few bags, but we'll be needing more.
2. (used for emphasis)
a. any
No tiene conocimiento alguno sobre programación.He doesn't have any knowledge about programming.
A pronoun is a word that stands in for a noun (e.g. she).
3. (indeterminate thing)
a. any
Tengo muchos tomates en el jardín. ¿Quieres alguno?I have a lot of tomatoes in the garden. Would you like any?
4. (indeterminate person)
a. someone (in affirmative clauses)
¡Mamá¡ ¡Papá! Alguno tiene que ayudarme con mi tarea de matemáticas.Mom! Dad! Someone has to help me with my math homework.
b. somebody (in affirmative clauses)
Por favor que alguno le abra la puerta.Somebody please open the door for him.
c. anyone (in interrogative clauses)
¿Me puede ayudar alguno a cambiar una llanta pinchada?Can anyone help me change a flat tire?
d. anybody (in interrogative clauses)
De tantos chicos en la fiesta ¿viste a alguno que ya conocías?Out of all those guys at the party, did you see anybody you already knew?
e. one
Alguno de ustedes tiene que acompañarme.One of you has to come with me.
5. (in affirmative clauses; replacing plural nouns)
a. some
Algunos pensarán que este proyecto es inútil.Some may think that this project is useless.
b. some people
Algunos dirían que estamos locos por quedarnos aquí.Some people would say we're mad to stay here.
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