7.9.1.4 Alcuno / qualche

In some contexts alcuno can be substituted by qualche, we will talk about the details later, after having talked about the form. We will talk first about the use of alcuno and qualche as adjectives, but alcuno can substitute a noun as well, can be a pronoun. At the end of the chapter there will be a summary.

Qualche doesn't match in gender and number with the noun, it is always qualche, even if it refers to a plural.

Examples  
  Some pupils (masc.) can' t read already.  
  Qualche alunno non sa ancora leggere.
  Some pupils (fem.) can' t read already.
  Qualche alunna non sa ancora leggere.

Let's talk first about the forms. We are going to see soon that the meaning of alcuno in plural is completely different from the meaning in singular.

Examples    
    singular plural
  feminine alcuna (donna)
alcun'(amica)
alcune (donne)  
  masculine alcun (libro)
alcun (uomo)
alcuni (uomini)  

Concerning the forms the same rule applies which we already know from the indefinite articles.

In reference to a noun in plural  
  In reference to a plural or, in the case of qualche, if talking about something in plural alcuno and qualche means some.
  Some pupils have learned a lot.  
  Alcuni alunni hanno imparato molto.
  Qualche alunno ha imparato molto.

In some isolated cases qualche and alcuno with a noun in plural have the same meaning.

example  
  He started talking a few days ago.
  Qualche giorno fa, ha cominciato a parlare.
  Alcuni giorni fa, ha cominciato a parlare.

But normally the meaning of alcuno in plural is completely different from the meaning in singular.

alcuno / alcuna = some (something of an entire), any
alcuni / alcune = some (some elements of something)

example: Alcuno in the sense of any  
  I did it without missing any day.
  Lo ho fatto senza saltare alcun giorno.

If alcuno stands behind the verb it is fully written.

example  
  He has no reason to do that.
  Non ha motivo alcuno di farlo.

In some cases alcuno can be substituted with an indefinite article.

example  
  If a man had ever said to me such affecting word, I would have give him my heart.
  Se mai alcun uomo mi avesse scritto parole così dolci ed accorate, avrei potuto perderci il cuore.*
  If a man had ever said to me such affecting word, I would have give him my heart.  
  Se mai un uomo mi avesse scritto parole così dolci ed accorate, avrei potuto perderci il cuore.*

* It is a conditional clause. The use of the tenses in conditional clauses is different than in English. We are going to talk about that in chapter 19.

Alcun is very often used with the preposition senza (without).

example  
  Without any reason he gave me a slap in the face.
  Senza alcun motivo mi ha datto uno schiaffo.
  Without detailed information you can't do anything.  
  Senza alcuna informazione più dettagliata non si può fare niente.






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