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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


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.


i cant understand when we must use 'anything' or 'nothing'.
is it wrong to say :
'I have nothing to wear to the party tomorrow.' ???
is it mean that when we use negative verb (don't, isn't...) we say 'anything', and in otherway - 'nothing' ???

Hi there,
Yes, it's correct to say 'I have nothing to wear to the party tomorrow.' If you were going to use 'anything', you would say 'I don't have anything to wear to the party tomorrow.'
If the meaning of the sentence is negative, we usually use 'anything' in sentences with a negative verb and 'nothing' in sentences with a positive verb. However, we can use 'anything' in sentences with a positive verb, for example 'When I'm hungry I will eat anything!'
I hope that helps.
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you!

 hello every body i'm new here :D:D:DD:D 
'm a friendly person from albania and i love english languge 

good refference

I'm learning a lot. Thank you. :)

Very detailed information.

very good tnx

very intresting exercise

this helps learners a lot, thnks