I want to ask a question about indefinite words.

I was reading the following sentence:

¿Tienes algún amigo que hable español?

and I was thinking about algún:

I know that algún/alguno/a/os/as is defined as "one, a, an, any", but why would the following not work with an indefinite article:

¿Tienes un amigo que hable español?

  • Do any of your friends speak Spanish versus Do you have a friend who speaks Spanish. algún amigo is used to mean (in translation): any of your friends
    – Lambie
    Mar 9, 2020 at 20:09
  • I do not see any difference, but I see a difference in (1) ¿Tienes aglún amigo que hable español? [neutral question] (2) ¿Tienes un amigo que habla español? [surprise!]
    – Davius
    Jul 8, 2022 at 20:44

1 Answer 1


Both work, but with "un" the question can be interpreted as "Do you have exactly one friend who speaks Spanish?". However, the question would usually be "Do you have at least one friend who speaks Spanish?". Therefore, "algún" ("any" or "some") is preferred.

  • Perfection! Thanks so much!
    – vik1245
    Mar 8, 2020 at 18:22

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