Spanish Grammar: Alguno vs Algo

"Alguno" (any) and "algo" (something, anything) are Spanish words commonly confused by non-native speakers. Below we'll explore their many forms and how to use each.

Alguno

"Alguno" often functions as an adjective. As such, it describes the noun that it precedes. Alguno comes in the following adjective forms:

  • Algún (one, some) short form of Alguno, used to modify singular masculine nouns
  • Algunos (some, someone, any) used to modify plural masculine nouns
  • Alguna (some, someone, any) used to modify singular feminine nouns
  • Algunas (some, someone, any) used to modify plural feminine nouns
Read and listen to the following examples, then repeat each out loud.

I usually run away, but sometimes I fight.
Suelo huir, pero algunas veces lucho.
At times, I want to give up.
Algunas veces quiero darme por vencido.
Any good movie you can recommend?
¿Alguna película buena que me recomienden?


However, when alguno is used after a noun, its meaning changes to whatsoever, (not) at all, or none. Consider the following examples.

He hit me for no reason at all.
Él me pegó sin motivo alguno.
There is no problem at all.
No hay problema alguno.


Sometimes the plural form of alguno (algunos, algunas) can mean several. Review the following example.

I ate up several biscuits.
Me comí algunos bizcochos.


Some alguno functions as a pronoun. As such, it acts much like an adjective. Review the following examples.

Some of them have arrived.
Han venido algunos.
Some are stronger than others.
Algunas son más fuertes que otras.
There is always someone that complains.
Siempre se queja alguno.

Algo

When used in a general context, "algo" means something. In interrogative and conditional sentences, it means anything. However, "algo" also has other meanings. As an adverb, it means somewhat or a little. And when employed as a pronoun followed by de, it can mean something, a bit, or part of (a whole). Consider the following examples of "algo" used as an adverb and pronoun.

She is a little bit tired.
Ella está algo cansada.
The baby is a bit more calm now.
El bebé está algo más tranquilo ahora.
She complains a little, but she's feeling much better.
Se queja algo, pero se siete mucho mejor.


I want something to eat.
Quiero algo de comer.
I want a bit of salad.
Quiero algo de ensalada.
They are making a bit of noise.
Están haciendo algo de ruido.