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Adjectives and Pronouns (indefinite)
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Video Lesson
Summary of Lesson
Indefinite adjectives and pronouns explained. What are they? A look at some common examples of each to show when and how they are used differently in conversation.
Some general points about how indefinite adjectives and pronouns are formed. A look at word positioning and word agreement.
Looking at a list of some of the most common indefinite adjectives in both Spanish and English.
Looking at a list of some of the most common indefinite pronouns in both Spanish and English.
   
  What you can learn from this lesson
   
Being able to define what indefinite adjectives and pronouns are and how they differ from each other.
Understanding how indefinite adjectives and pronouns are used in conversation and how most of them must agree to the gender and number of the other words that they replace or might be used with (usually nouns).
Knowing where indefinite adjectives and pronouns are normally positioned in sentences relative to the other words they replace or might be used with (usually nouns).
Knowing which indefinite adjectives and pronouns take only one form regardless of the gender and number of the other words they replace or might be used with.
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PART 1

 

The first part of this lesson seeks to explain what indefinite adjectives and pronouns are and to explain the differences between them.

 

Indefinite adjectives and pronouns

 

Indefinite adjectives and pronouns are words that refer to people or things in a non specific way.

 

Indefinite adjectives - are used with nouns to describe them. (They are usually placed                                  directly next to the nouns that they describe in both Spanish and                                  English.)


Indefinite pronouns - are used in place of nouns. (They often refer to nouns that have                                  already been stated to save repeating the noun again.)

 

Normal sentences

 

Ese barco enorme.   That huge ship.

This sentence is specific - ‘ese’ - (that) refers to a specific ship.

 

Indefinite adjectives

 

Algún barco enorme. Some huge ship.

 

In this sentence the adjective ‘algún’ (some / any), describes the noun it is used with; the ship, in a non specific way. We don’t know what ship is being referred to.

 

Indefinite pronouns

 

Algunos de los barcos son enormes. Some of the ships are huge.

 

In this sentence the pronoun ‘algunos’ (one / some), is used to refer to an unspecified quantity of the huge ships. In this case the ships in general are specified but we don’t know how many of them are huge.

 

PART 2

 

The second part of this lesson looks at how indefinite adjectives and pronouns are formed in relation to the words that they are used with.

 

Gender and number agreement

 

Many indefinite adjectives and indefinite pronouns must agree with both the gender and number of the nouns they describe or refer to.

 

Indefinite adjectives

 

Algún día voy a ganar.  Some day I’m going to win.
¿Alguna vez has probado el caviar? Have you ever tried caviar?
Algunos niños son malcriados. Some children are badly behaved.
Algunos países son muy grandes.  Some countries are very big.

 

Indefinite adjectives usually come directly before the nouns that they are used with just like normal adjectives do.

 

Indefinite pronouns

 

Although in the following example the indefinite pronouns refer to plural nouns they are only referring to one on the plural nouns and therefore need to be singular.

 

Alguno de mis amigos. One of my friends.
Quiero alguna de esas galletas. I want one of those biscuits.

 

In the following examples the indefinite pronouns are referring to more than one of the plural nouns and therefore need to be plural also.

 

Algunos de los estudiantes fallaron. Some of the students failed.
Me gustan algunos de los cuentos. I like some of the stories.

 

In the above examples the pronouns in each case come before the nouns that they are referring to but in other situations they may come after them. Sometimes of course no noun will be present in the sentence.

 

Verb agreement

 

If an indefinite pronoun is the subject of a verb and the nouns they refer to are not stated then care should be taken to make the verb agree with the pronoun.

 

Algunos quieren venir. Some want to come.
Alguno trató de escapar. One tried to escape.

 

Indefinite adjectives and pronouns that don’t change form

 

Some indefinite adjectives and pronouns have only one form which is the same even when used with nouns of different genders.

 

Cada noche. (feminine noun)  Each night.
Cada día. (masculine noun) Each day.

Indefinite adjectives, pronouns and even adverbs

 

It is important to remember that some indefinite adjectives are also indefinite pronouns and that the meaning of the word can change accordingly. Alguno/a is a good example. Indefinite adjectives and pronouns can also be used in other parts of speech too, most often as adverbs. When learning these types of words it is best to learn the different meanings that apply to each type of word usage.

 

PART 3

 

This part of the lesson looks specifically at some of the most common indefinite adjectives. It must be remembered that an indefinite adjective might also be an indefinite pronoun. It might also be used in other parts of speech perhaps as an adverb or even a noun.

 

Indefinite adjective

Meaning

 

 

algún / alguno/a - algunos/as

some / any / a few

Algún día me saldré

Some day I will leave.

¿Habrá algunos payasos?

Will there be any clowns.

Daré algunas monedas cada semana.

I will give a few coins a week.

cada

each / every

Cada uno tenía sus razones.

Each one had their reasons.

Cada invierno hace frío.

It’s cold every winter.

cierto/a – ciertos/as

certain

Hay ciertas cosas que hacer.

There are certain things to do.

cualquier / cualquiera

any /whatever / whichever

Cualquier hora está bien

Any / whatever / whichever time is fine.

cuanto/a – cuantos/as

all (that)

Toma cuanto agua quieras.

Take all the water you want.

los/las demás

the rest of

Las demás abejas escaparon.

The rest of the bees escaped.

mucho/a – muchos/as

a lot of

Había mucha gente en el cine.

There were a lot of people at the cinema.

mismo/a – mismos/as

same

¿El mismo lugar como ayer?

In the same place as yesterday?

ningún – ninguno/a

no / not any

Ningún jugador merece ganar.

No player deserves to win.

No quiero ningunas deudas.

I don’t want any debts.

otro/a – otros/as

another / other

Escoge otro libro.

Choose another book.

No hay otra solución.

There’s no other solution.

poco/a – pocos/as

few / little

Pocas ciudades tienen aire limpio.

Few cities have clean air.

Mi maestro tiene poca paciencia.

My teacher has little patience.

tanto/a – tantos/as

so much / so many

Él tiene tanto dinero que no sabe que hacer.

He has so much money he doesn’t know what to do.

Hay tantas opciones.

There are so many choices.

propio/a – propios/as

own / himself / herself

Es mi propia casa.

It’s my own house.

El propio dueño dijo.

The owner himself said.

tal – tales

such

No existe tal cosa.

There’s no such thing.

todo/a – todos/as

all / every

Todos los anillos son iguales.

All the rings are the same.

(Yo) como fruta todos los días.

I eat fruit every day.

uno el otro

one…..the other

(Yo) tomé uno y el tomó el otro.

I took one and he took the other one.

varios/as

several

Hay varios lunas alrededor de Júpiter

There are several moons around Jupiter.

 

PART 4

 

This part of the lesson looks specifically at some of the most common indefinite pronouns. It must be remembered that an indefinite pronoun might also be an indefinite adjective. It might also be used in other parts of speech perhaps as an adverb or even a noun.

 

Indefinite pronoun

Meaning

 

 

alguno/a – algunos/as

one / some / a few

Alguno de los monos.

One of the monkeys.

Algunos de los monos.

Some / a few of the monkeys.

Algo

something / anything

¿Me puedes dar algo para comer?

Can you give me something to eat?

¿Quieres algo?

Do you want anything?

Alguien

somebody / anybody / someone / anyone

Alguien me contó.

Somebody / someone told me.

¿Hay alguien que quiera más?

Is there anyone who wants more?

¿(Tú) contaste a alguien?

Did you tell anybody?

Cada uno/a

each one / everyone

Cada uno está podrido.

Each one is rotten.

Cada uno tiene sus problemas.

Everyone has their problems.

Cualquiera

anybody / anyone

Cualquiera puede cantar con práctica.

Anybody / anyone can sing with practice.

Los demás

the rest

¿Qué de los demás?

What about the rest?

Mucho/a – muchos/as

much / many

(Yo) no tengo mucho para ofrecerte.

I don’t have much to offer you.

Muchas de las mujeres fueron llorando.

Many of the women were crying.

Ninguno/a

none / any / no one

¿Cuantos tienes? Ninguno.

How many do you have? None.

Él tiene uno y yo ninguno.

He has one and I don’t have any.

Ninguno quería ayudarme.

No one wanted to help me.

Nada

nothing / anything

¿Qué me has dicho? Nada.

What did you say to me? Nothing.

Nada es cierto en la vida.

Nothing is certain in life.

El no me dio nada.

He didn’t give me anything.

nadie

nobody / no one / anybody / anyone

¿Quien te habló? Nadie.

Who spoke to you? Nobody.

Nadie vino a la fiesta.

No one came to the party.

(Yo) no confío en nadie.

I don’t trust anyone.

Ellos no vieron a nadie.

They didn’t see anybody.

otro/a - otros/as

another one / others

(Yo) quiero otro.

I want another one.

Las otras fueron la semana pasada.

The others went last week.

poco/a - pocos/as

little / little bit / few / a few

(Yo) solamente quiero poco.

I only want a little / little bit.

Me quedan unos pocos.

I have a few left.

tanto/a – tantos/as

so much / so many

Hay tanto que hacer.

There’s so much to do.

¿Había mucha gente? No tanta.

Were there a lot of people? Not many.

todo/a - todos/as

everything / all / everyone

Él me contó todo.

He told me everything / all.

Todas tienen que pagar.

Everyone has to pay.

Uno/a – unos/as

one / some

Uno no puede esperar milagros.

One can’t expect miracles.

Unos dicen que han visto fantasmas.

Some say they’ve seen ghosts.

unos cuantos

a few

Ella me vendió unos cuantos.

She sold me a few.

 

That concludes this lesson on indefinite adjectives and pronouns. If you have not done so already watch the actual video for this lesson and then try one of the associated quizzes to test your understanding.

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