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The undefined in spanish

Many Spanish students have problems when they use indefinite determinants and pronouns in Spanish: “Algún, alguno, alguna, ningún, ninguna, alguien, nadie, algo o nada”. So in this article of our blog we will clarify this topic.

¿ What are undefined in Spanish?

Indeterminate determinants and pronouns allow us to communicate the existence or non-existence of objects, people or things.


Algún / alguno / alguna / algunos / algunas

We use it to express the existence of something.

Algún + sustantivo (thing, person, animal) in singular masculine:

Example: “¿Hay algún chico en la piscina que sea polaco?”

Alguna + sustantivo (thing, person, animal) in feminine singular.

Example: “¿Hay alguna chica en la piscina que sea polaca?”

ATTENTION: The determinant “algún“  always accompanied by a masculine noun, but “alguno” in singular it NEVER carries a noun. It’s a very common mistake:

Example: “En la piscina hay alguno chico polaco” ( ¡¡¡NOOOOO!!!)

When we already know information about the object, speaking, we use the undefined alone (without noun): “alguno(s)” and “alguna(s)”.

Example: “En la piscina hay alguno”

Example: “En la piscina hay algunas”


Ningún / ninguno / ninguna / ningunos / ningunas

We use it to express the absence of something

Ningún + sustantivo (thing, person or animal) in singular masculine.

Example: “En la piscina no hay ningún chico español”

Ninguna + sustantivo (thing, animal or person) in feminine singular.

Example: “En la piscina no hay ninguna chica española”

When we already know information about the object, person or thing we are talking about, we use the undefined ones alone, without a noun: “ninguno, ninguna”

Example: “En la piscina no hay ninguno / ninguna”

ATTENTION: “Ninguno, ninguna” it’s not used in the plural, except that they refer to words that do not have singular, as is the case with “gafas, pantalones, ganas…”

Example: “No tengo ningunas ganas de ir a la fiesta”


Alguien / nadie

It is only used to indicate the existence of a number of people. These pronouns are never followed by nouns.

Example: “¿Hay alguien en la piscina que sepa nadar”

                “No, no hay nadie”


Algo / nada

It is only used to express the existence or nonexistence of things.

Example: “¿Hay algo de cerveza en la nevera?”

                “No, no hay nada. Tendremos que ir al supermercado”


In conclusion, I recommend that you put into practice all these determinants and pronouns using the conversation, for this you have Interigual, your online Spanish school, where a super Spanish teacher can help you not to make these kinds of mistakes again with our communicative method

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