Capital letter a

A

The indefinite article a or an is translated by un before a masculine noun, una before a feminine noun:

 

  •  a car = un coche

  •  an actress = una actriz

 

Singular feminine nouns, however, that begin with a stressed or accented a or ha take the article un rather than una:

 

  •  an eagle = un águila

  •  a fairy = un hada

 

The article is not translated in the following cases:

With jobs and professions:

 

  •  she’s a lawyer = es abogada

  •  he works as a waiter = trabaja de camarero

 

But the indefinite article is translated when there is a qualification:

 

  •  he’s a good dentist = es un buen dentista

  •  she is an excellent teacher = es una profesora excelente

 

After what a:

 

  •  what a shock! = ¡qué susto!

  •  what a big dog! = ¡qué perro más grande!

 

After such a:

 

  •  how could you do such a thing? = ¿cómo pudiste hacer eso?

  •  I have never said such a thing = nunca he dicho tal cosa

  •  it’s such a bore = es tan aburrido

 

Before a certain when qualifying a subject noun:

 

  •  a certain man = cierto hombre

 

When expressing prices in relation to weight or length, the indefinite article is translated by el before a masculine noun or la before a feminine noun:

 

  •  it costs 2 dollars a pound/3 dollars a meter = cuesta 2 dólares la libra/3 dólares el metro

 

When a means per, there are various translations:

 

  •  twice a week = dos veces a la or por semana

  •  three times a day = tres veces al día

  •  50 miles an hour = 50 millas por hora

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