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Grammar - Using the Spanish Indefinite Articles - 'A', 'An' and 'Some'

This Spanish Easy Review grammar quiz takes a look at the indefinite articles - a, an and some. In the Spanish Easy Review quiz titled Using the Spanish Definite Article - 'The', you learned that there are four different forms of that word. Those forms were based on the gender of the word and on whether the word was attached to or describing a singular word or a plural word. That made the word 'the' an adjective. This same principle holds true for the indefinite article.

In English, the indefinite articles are a, an and some.

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Why are they indefinite? Because they do not speak to anything that is definite. For example, if you were to say 'the boy', you would be referring to is a specific (or definite) person. However, if you were to say 'a boy' or 'some boy', you would not be referring to any one specific person as it could be any person. That makes these words indefinite.

Again, if you were to say 'the apple', you would be referring to a specific thing. On the other hand, if you were to say 'an apple', that would be non-specific or, it would be an indefinite thing. Note, however, that in Spanish the word for 'an' is not used. It only comes up when translating from Spanish to English when describing an object or thing that begins with a vowel in English such as 'an apple'.

Spanish also uses the indefinite articles of 'a' and 'some' interchangeably. In other words, the same Spanish word is used for both. Spanish does, however, use these words in a masculine/feminine manner and a singular/plural manner as follows.

SINGULAR

Un - before a masculine noun singular. Example: un hombre (a man / some man)
Una - before a feminine noun singular. Example: una profesora (a teacher / some teacher)

PLURAL

Unos - before a masculine noun plural. Example: unos hermanos (some brothers)
Unas - before a feminine noun plural. Example: unas hermanas (some sisters)

For this quiz you will be looking at ten sentences with an indefinite article capitalized. From the answers given below each sentence, determine which answer is the correct answer that reflects the proper use of the indefinite article. You will have to be familiar with whether the subject/object is masculine or feminine to find the correct answer. If you are ready, then please begin!

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  1. Can you pick me up SOME chocolates on the way home tonight?
    Did you remember the Spanish word for chocolate? It is spelled the same but sounds different and it is a masculine word. Since it is a masculine word you can quickly eliminate the second and last answers. The sentence says some chocolates which means chocolate is plural. The first answer is singular for 'some' while the third answer is the masculine plural for 'some'.
  2. Were SOME cakes left at the end of the party?
    Did you remember the Spanish word for cake? It is tarta which is a feminine word. Since it is a feminine word you can quickly eliminate the first and third answers. The sentence says some cakes which means cake is plural. The second answer is singular for 'some' while the last answer is the feminine plural for 'some'.
  3. John did not find A sock under his bed.
    Did you remember the Spanish word for sock? It is calcetín and it is a masculine word. Since it is a masculine word you can quickly eliminate the second and last answers. The sentence says a sock which means sock is singular. The third answer is plural for 'some' while the first answer is the masculine singular for 'a'.
  4. You better not harm A hair on his head!
    Did you remember the Spanish word for hair? It is pelo and it is a masculine word. Since it is a masculine word you can quickly eliminate the second and last answers. The sentence says a hair which means hair is singular. The third answer is plural for 'a' while the first answer is the masculine singular for 'a'.
  5. I need to take A shower before I go on my date.
    Did you remember the Spanish word for shower? It is ducha which is a feminine word. Since it is a feminine word you can quickly eliminate the first and third answers. The sentence says a shower which means shower is singular. The last answer is plural for 'a' while the second answer is the feminine singular for 'a'.
  6. Would you like to have SOME peanuts for a snack?
    Did you remember the Spanish word for peanut? It is cacahuate and it is a masculine word. Since it is a masculine word you can quickly eliminate the second and last answers. The sentence says some peanuts which means peanut is plural. The first answer is singular for 'some' while the third answer is the masculine plural for 'some'.
  7. Karen was A head taller than her younger sister.
    Did you remember the Spanish word for head? It is cabeza which is a feminine word. Since it is a feminine word you can quickly eliminate the first and third answers. The sentence says a head which means head is singular. The last answer is plural for 'a' while the second answer is the feminine singular for 'a'.
  8. I’ll take A sweater to keep warm.
    Did you remember the Spanish word for sweater? It is suéter and it is a masculine word. Since it is a masculine word you can quickly eliminate the second and last answers. The sentence says a sweater which means sweater is singular. The third answer is plural for 'some' while the first answer is the masculine singular for 'a'.
  9. I find that SOME beds are just too hard to sleep on.
    Did you remember the Spanish word for bed? It is cama which is a feminine word. Since it is a feminine word you can quickly eliminate the first and third answers. The sentence says some beds which means bed is plural. The second answer is singular for 'some' while the last answer is the feminine plural for 'some'.
  10. He found A purse in the back of his cab.
    Did you remember the Spanish word for purse? It is bolso and it is a masculine word. Since it is a masculine word you can quickly eliminate the second and last answers. The sentence says a purse which means purse is singular. The third answer is plural for 'a' while the first answer is the masculine singular for 'a'.

Author: Christine G. Broome

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