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Old July 31, 2011, 07:18 PM
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Christoferus Christoferus is offline
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Definition of algún?

I've been having some difficulty figuring out what algún means and how to use it in context. One website said that algún meant "some" or "something". Another dictionary said that it meant "some" or "any". How would you use algún in context and how many usages does it have?

Also, I found other words such as alguno, alguna, algunos, and algunas. Are these just derivatives of algún?

Thank you!
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Old July 31, 2011, 07:44 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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"Alguno" is an adjective, and so it must agree with the noun it modifies (therefore there's "alguno", "algunos", "alguna", "algunas"). "Algún" is its short form when it goes before a masculine noun.

It is used as "some" when it refers to someone or something as opposed to "none", to express a notion of "a little", when it talks about a way not specified...
·Aquí hay algunos alumnos que saben varios idiomas. -> Here there are some students who speak several languages.
·Vinieron algunas personas a la tienda, pero ninguna compró nada. -> Some people came to the store, but none bought anything.
·Algunos amigos nos ayudaron. -> Some friends helped us.
·Si tuviera algún conocimiento de matemáticas, podría ayudarte con tu tarea. -> If I had some knowledge of mathematics, I could help you with your homework.
·Yo no le dije nada, pero de alguna forma se enteró. -> I didn't tell him/her anything, but somehow he/she found out

It is used like "any" when it's like a "negative some" (sorry, can't think of a better way to explain)...

·¿Conoces alguna forma de aprender sin estudiar? -> Do you know any way to learn without studying?
·¿Tenemos algún libro? -> Do we have any books?
·¿No hay algún modo de resolver el problema? -> Isn't there any way to solve the problem?

I hope it's not too confusing.
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Old July 31, 2011, 07:52 PM
Luna Azul Luna Azul is offline
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"Algún" means "some", "certain". It's an apocopated or shortened form of the word "alguno" and it's only used in front of a masculine noun.

Algún sitio - algún modo - algún lugar.

With a feminine word you use "alguna": Alguna cosa - alguna manera.

"algunos"
and "algunas" are the plural of those words.

Algunos sitios - algunas cosas


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Old July 31, 2011, 08:09 PM
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Thank you, that definitely cleared some stuff up for me.

So are you saying that "algún" and "alguno(s)" are interchangeable words?
AngelicaDeAlquezar, one of your examples was "¿Tenemos algún libro?" Could you also mean the same thing by saying "¿Tenemos algunos libros?" ?
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Old July 31, 2011, 08:30 PM
Luna Azul Luna Azul is offline
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They're not interchangeable. With a singular masculine noun you use "algún". With a plural masculine noun you use "algunos".

"¿Tenemos algún libro?" and "¿Tenemos algunos libros?"? don't mean the same. One is in the singular and the other one in the plural. You cannot use "algún" with "libros".
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Old July 31, 2011, 08:31 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christoferus View Post
AngelicaDeAlquezar, one of your examples was "¿Tenemos algún libro?" Could you also mean the same thing by saying "¿Tenemos algunos libros?" ?

Hmmm... I think the meaning of the sentence might be similar, but the intention would be a little different: "¿Tenemos algunos libros?" would be asking for a number of books for a certain (probably known) purpose, while "¿Tenemos algún libro?" would be asking whether we have any, for (perhaps) any purpose.


As for interchangeability, no, they aren't. We don't say "alguno amigo" but "algún amigo", "alguno perro" but "algún perro"... "Algún" is "alguno" when it's placed before a masculine noun in singular.
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Old August 01, 2011, 11:05 PM
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ninguno?

Quote:
It is used like "any" when it's like a "negative some" (sorry, can't think of a better way to explain)...
But then what is ninguno?
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Old August 02, 2011, 08:00 AM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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I'm sorry, but did you read the examples I gave to explain what I meant?
As for "ninguno", it's usually "none" or "no + adjective" in English, and of course some cases of "any", which weren't those in the examples I gave.

If Spanish students have questions on the use of "ninguno", please post a new question.
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Old August 02, 2011, 09:47 AM
Luna Azul Luna Azul is offline
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"algún", "alguna" are translated as "any" when they're used in a question, normally using the noun in the plural in English:

"¿Tienen ellos algún problema?" = "Do they have any problems?"

"¿Tienes alguna pregunta?" = "Do you have any questions?


"Ningún", "ninguno", "ninguna" are translated as "any" in negative sentences:

"(Ellos) no tienen ningún problema" = "They don't have any problems"

"No tengo ninguna pregunta" = "I don't have any questions".


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