Algún, ningún, cualquiera

Algún, ningún, cualquiera

What is the difference between "algún" and "alguno"? And "ninguno"? What exactly is "cualquiera"? Are they all translated as any?

Let's answer these questions and dive into lots of examples!


"Any" in a negative sentence.

Ningún/ninguna + noun

No vi a ninguna persona - I didn't see any person.

Ningún hombre estaba casado - No man was married.

Ninguno/ninguna + nothing else

¿Tienes un boli? -No, no tengo ninguno.
- Do you have a pen? - No, I don't have any.

Similar words

Nadie- nobody

Nadie lo sabe- nobody knows it.


Undefined one or "any" in a question.

Algún / alguna + noun

Hay algún coche en la calle - There is some/a car in the street.

¿Tienes alguna duda? - Do you have any doubt?

Algún día será famoso – Some day/one day he’ll be famous.

Encontraremos un jersey en algún sitio – We'll find a jumper in some/a place.

Alguno /alguna + nothing else

¿Tienes alguna duda? – Sí, tenemos alguna.
- Do you have any doubt? - Yes, we have some/one.

¿Piensas que algún niño va a venir? – Alguno vendrá.
- Do you think that any kid is going to come? - Some/one will come.


Algunos/as - a few/some

Before a noun (adjective) or alone (pronoun).

Algunos alumnos aprobaron - A few students passed.

- ¿Cuántos caramelos quieres? – Dame algunos, no muchos.
- How many sweets do you want? - Give me a few, not too many.

Similar words

Alguien- someone
Alguien vendrá- someone will come.

Algo- something


Any of them, out of all of the options, whichever, whatever.

Cualquier + noun

Cualquier persona puede entrar - Any person can go in Cualquier poema puede ganar el concurso - Any poem can win the competition

Cualquiera - nothing else

- ¿Qué pastel quieres? – dame cualquiera
What cake do you want? - give me any.

Similar words

Cualquiera- anybody or anyone.

Cualquiera puede conducir - Anybody can drive.

More examples

  1. No funciona _______ ordenador aquí. - No computer works here.

    We need a negative option and also masculine (because of "ordenador") here. Also, because it has a noun ("ordenador") right after, we use "ningún" and not "ninguno":

    No funciona ningún ordenador aquí

  2. Tenemos _________ soluciones pero _________ es buena.
    We have a few solutions but none of them is good.

    A few would be "algunos/as", and we go for the feminine option as "solución" is a feminine word. For the second, again a negative, still feminine.

    Tenemos algunas soluciones pero ninguna es buena.

  3. _____ día iremos a Islandia - one/some day we'll go to Island.

    It's not negative, and closest word to "one" is "algún/o/a". Because we have a noun after ("día") and it's masculine we need "algún", no o at the end.

    Algún día iremos a Islandia.

  4. Pedro no es exigente, puede hacer ________ trabajo.
    Pedro is not demanding/picky, he can do any job.

    Here the emphasis is on the fact that out of the options he can do any, he is indifferent, whatever job you give him it's fine.

    For that, the word would be "cualquier/a", but because it has a noun right after ("trabajo") we'll choose the shorter version as usual: "cualquier"

    Pedro no es exigente, puede hacer cualquier trabajo.

  5. ¿Puedes traerme ______ regalo de París? ¡Pero no ________!
    Can you bring me some/a present from Paris? But not just any.

    Here the first one is a present that the person is not specifying, so "algún" would work. Not "alguno", because it's not alone, it has the noun ("regalo") right after.

    For the second, the person wants to say that he or she is not so indifferent, not any random thing would work.

    A good word for a "random thing out of a selection" is "cualquier/a"! Here we'll choose "cualquiera" because it's alone, no word after.

    ¿Puedes traerme algún regalo de París? ¡Pero no cualquiera!

    Last one!

  6. Puedes venir a __________ hora, voy a estar en casa toda la tarde.
    You can come over at any time, I'm going to be at home all afternoon/evening.

    For this case, the person says that all of the hours of the afternoon/evening are good, all of the options are good, whatever time is good: "cualquier/a".

    Here we choose "cualquier" because it has "hora" after.

    Puedes venir a cualquier hora, voy a estar en casa toda la tarde

Hope that helped, if you have any question feel free to leave it down below :)

¡Hasta pronto!