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Indefinite pronouns

Level: beginner

The indefinite pronouns 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


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


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.


Hi adil2345,

Your sentence isn't correct, I'm afraid.  It looks to me like you're trying to make a negative sentence, in which case the correct sentence would be 'Somebody does not have my number'.  However, that would be a rather unusual sentence to make - after all, I would imagine many people do not have your number!

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

hi peter m,
Thanks for your answer.You have cleared my doubt.

can someone help me to find out the difference between "anyone" and "anybody",
Thanking you in anticipation

Hello zouine,

There is no difference in meaning between anyone and anybody. In British English, anyone is more commonly used in writing, and anybody is used a bit more frequently in speaking, but people speak and write both words without any difference in meaning.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team


I have been studying another test. I've found this question:

* He cares so little about his meals that _______ will do so long as it fills his stomach

The options are:

- something
- nothing
- anything
- everything

My answer was something, it was wrong. But I don't know why? Can you help me?



Hi wilson2103,

The speaker is trying to say that he pays so little attention to his meals that it's not important what food he eats - in other words, that he will eat anything. 'Something' is very vague and does not carry the same suggestion of 'it doesn't matter what it is'.

I hope that helps to clarify it for you.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

very good exercises

Hello sir,
Suppose I am a teacher. I am writing on Blackboard. There are some kind of Indefinite pronoun. But if Someone student don't understand and if they ask me. what is that sir. can I say them. these are kind of Indefinite pronoun. I know sir. I am not perfect in English. but I want to be perfect in English. if you help me one day. I shall be perfect in English. but Without your help I can't be perfect in English sir.

Hello sampat,

Are you asking if the sentence "These are kind of indefinite pronoun" is correct? If so, I think I would say something like "These are different kinds of indefinite pronouns". If that's not what you were asking me, my apologies - please ask again!

It's great that you are trying to improve your English - I'm sure you will do so and wish you the best!

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello! I need some help. 1) Can I use "something" in question? When?
Can I say "Have you changed something?" If we talk about a document which had already been changed a lot and after that someone planned to reread the document and check the mistakes that we might miss?
Or only "anything" must been used here
Thanks for your time and help.