Using cualquier/a to express any (indirect adjectives)

In Spanish, we use cualquier or cualquiera to express any in the sense of "it doesn't matter which or what" (as in You can take any book).

Now let's see how to use cualquier or cualquiera!


Cualquier + [singular noun] = any + [singular noun]

Coge cualquier libro.
Take any book.

Lee cualquier página.
Read any page.

Elige cualquier camiseta.
Choose any T-shirt.

Cualquier appears before a singular noun, and never agrees in gender.


Un/una
[singular noun] + cualquiera = any + [singular noun]

Coge un plato cualquiera.
Take any dish.

Lee una revista cualquiera.
Read any magazine.

Compra un pescado cualquiera.
Buy any fish.

Cualquiera is also the singular form but it appears after a singular noun, and never agrees in gender either.

Remember to always use the indefinite article (un/una) with cualquiera.

ATTENTION:
You also have a plural form of cualquiera = cualesquiera .

[plural noun] + cualesquiera = any + [plural noun]

Escoge cualesquiera métodos.
Choose any methods.

Compra dos libros cualesquiera.
Buy any two books.

 

Cualquier is the short form, and cualquiera is the full form. Just pick one of them and be careful with the placement.


Cualquier/cualquiera versus algún/alguna and ningún/ninguna 

Compra alguna fruta.
Buy some fruit.

No compres ninguna fruta.
Don't buy any fruit.

Compra cualquier fruta.
Buy any fruit.

¡No compres cualquier fruta!
Don't buy any old fruit!

In Spanish, you translate any (in the sense of some) as follows:
algún/alguna/algunos/algunas in affirmative sentences
ningún/ninguna/ningunos/ningunas in negative sentences

The meaning of cualquier(a) is closer to any whatsoever/any old, and can be used in both affirmative and negative sentences.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Coge cualquier libro.
Take any book.


Compra dos libros cualesquiera.
Buy any two books.


Compra un pescado cualquiera.
Buy any fish.


¡No compres cualquier fruta!
Don't buy any old fruit!


Coge un plato cualquiera.
Take any dish.


Compra cualquier fruta.
Buy any fruit.


Lee una revista cualquiera.
Read any magazine.


Compra alguna fruta.
Buy some fruit.


No compres ninguna fruta.
Don't buy any fruit.


Lee cualquier página.
Read any page.


Escoge cualesquiera métodos.
Choose any methods.


Cualquier canción será buena para nuestra fiesta.
Any (whatsover) / every song will be good for our party.


Elige cualquier camiseta.
Choose any T-shirt.


Q&A

Jeremi

Kwiziq community member

9 December 2018

1 reply

I see many sources that calesquiera should always go after the noun, is this correct?

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

11 December 2018

11/12/18

Hi Jeremi

We checked with the RAE (The Royal Academy of the Spanish language) and they give an example where cualesquiera is used in front of a noun too. As cualesquiera is hardly used nowadays it is difficult to find sources referring to this, but if you want to share some of the sources you found confirming the only acceptable position is after the noun, please do share, so we can look into it and double check.

Saludos

Inma

Doug

Kwiziq community member

16 November 2018

1 reply

Just a note- in the section "Cualquier/cualquiera versus algún/alguna and ningún/ninguna", you have the wrong recording with the first sentence

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

18 November 2018

18/11/18

Gracias Doug.

It's been corrected.

Inma

Susan

Kwiziq community member

19 August 2018

1 reply

Before a masculine plural noun is the correct form cualesquiera

Silvia

Kwiziq language super star

20 August 2018

20/08/18

¡Hola Susan! As the lesson says, "cualesquiera" matches with plural nouns, either masculine or feminine.

Silvia

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