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Indefinite pronouns

Level: beginner

Some of the indefinite pronouns in English are:

anybody everybody nobody somebody
anyone everyone no one someone
anything everything nothing something

We use indefinite pronouns to refer to people or things without saying exactly who or what they are. We use pronouns ending in -body or -one for people, and pronouns ending in -thing for things:

Everybody enjoyed the concert.
I opened the door but there was no one at home.
It was a very clear day. We could see everything.

Indefinite pronouns 1

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We use a singular verb after an indefinite pronoun:

Everybody loves Sally.
Everything was ready for the party.

When we refer back to an indefinite pronoun, we normally use a plural pronoun:

Everybody enjoyed the concert. They stood up and clapped.
I will tell somebody that dinner is ready. They have been waiting a long time.

Be careful!

In negative clauses, we use pronouns with no-, not pronouns with any-:

Nobody came. (NOT Anybody didn't come.)

We do not use another negative in a clause with nobody, no one or nothing:

Nobody came. (NOT Nobody didn't come.)
Nothing happened. (NOT Nothing didn't happen.)

Indefinite pronouns 2

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We can add 's to an indefinite pronoun to make a possessive:

They were staying in somebody's house.
Is this anybody's coat?

We use else after indefinite pronouns to refer to other people or things:

All the family came, but no one else.
If Michael can't come, we'll ask somebody else.
I think this is somebody else's coat.

Comments

I think I got it. Was everybody having a good time? Yes, they were. Is it ok?

Hello Gabriel868,

Yes, that sentence is correct.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I'am having a good time here.

Hello, I was wondering why it is used like, for example ; "somebody save me" while this is an indefinite pronoun. So why do people use both "somebody saves my life", and "somebody save me"?

Thank you for reading.

Hi Tayobuss1,

Are you asking why 'somebody' is used with 'save' in one sentence and with 'saves' in the other? 'Somebody save me!' is a kind of imperative or command, whereas 'Somebody saves my life' is a present simple form.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a lots dear Teachers,
you have cleared all my doubt on indefinite pronoun.

Hi sir,

The Statement Everybody loves Sally is given but i slightly confuse that everybody is the Plural so it should be Everybody love Sally.

Please reply my assumption is correct or not

Regards
Prathap

Hi Prathap8826,

The answer to this is on the page:

We use a singular verb after an indefinite pronoun

Although 'everybody' refers to many people, it is an indefinite pronoun and these have singular verbs.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Full marks ^^

i got full marks...:)

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