Using algo to say something or anything

We use the indefinite pronoun algo to say something or anything in affirmative and interrogative statements.

Read and listen to these examples:

Tengo algo que contarte.
I have something to tell you.

Eva y Sandra oyeron algo anoche en el jardín.
Eva and Sandra heard something in the garden last night.

In the affirmative statements above, algo means something.

¿Quieres algo para comer?
Do you want anything to eat?

¿Necesitaba algo para escribir?
Did you need anything to write with?

Notice how in interrogative phrases, the indefinite pronoun can be translated as anything.

Don't confuse the indefinite pronoun algo with the indefinite adjective algún. You can never use algo with a noun!

Example:
Prefiero algo libro de aventuras.
Prefiero algún libro de aventuras.

I prefer some adventure book.

See also:

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Eva y Sandra oyeron algo anoche en el jardín.
Eva and Sandra heard something in the garden last night.


¿Quieres algo para comer?
Do you want anything to eat?


Tengo algo que contarte.
I have something to tell you.


¿Necesitaba algo para escribir?
Did you need anything to write with?


Q&A Forum 2 questions, 4 answers

RickyA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Forgive me

Please forgive me. I am having difficulty writing the sentences.

It should be:

But I don't understand the use of 'que' in the following:

Tengo algo que contarte

When 'para' is used in the other two examples

Hope I did not confuse you too much.

Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Ricky

Don't worry. If you put "algo" at the end of the sentence..."Tengo que contarte algo", you can see that "que" is linked to the verb "Tener" and it is expressing obligation "Tener que..." (To have to..[do something]). This is the function of "que" in this sentence. Sometimes we change the order as you can see in "Tengo algo que contarte".

Here are other similar sentences:

"Tengo cosas que hacer"/ "Tengo que hacer cosas" (I have things to do/I have to do things)

"Tenemos invitados que atender/ Tenemos que atender a los invitados" (We have guests to attend to"/ We have to look after our guests").

I hope it is a bit clearer now.

Inma

InmaKwiziq team member

Actually, Ricky, there is another possible explanation for this sentence "Tengo algo que contarte". This sentence could also be said this way: "Tengo algo que [quiero/me gustaría] contarte" = I have something [that I want/would like] to tell you.

That "que" would be a relative pronoun referring to "algo".

It would also work with the other similar sentences mentioned before:

"Tengo cosas que hacer" = I have things [that I need] to do.

"Tenemos invitados que atender" = We have guests [who need] to be looked after.

Inma

RickyA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Gracias, Inma!

Very helpful

Ricky

Forgive me

Please forgive me. I am having difficulty writing the sentences.

It should be:

But I don't understand the use of 'que' in the following:

Tengo algo que contarte

When 'para' is used in the other two examples

Hope I did not confuse you too much.

Sign in to submit your answer

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RickyA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Why 'que'?

I understand the use of 'para' in these sentences:

¿Quieres algo para comer?

Tengo algo que contarte

Can you help?¿Necesitaba algo para escribir?

But I don't understand the use of 'que' in the following:

Asked 1 year ago
SilviaKwiziq team member
¡Hola Ricky! The "que" you are talking about is part of the verb "tener" to form the structure "tener que" (to have to) expressing obligation. I hope that this makes more sense now. Gracias, Silvia.

Why 'que'?

I understand the use of 'para' in these sentences:

¿Quieres algo para comer?

Tengo algo que contarte

Can you help?¿Necesitaba algo para escribir?

But I don't understand the use of 'que' in the following:

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