Indefinite PronounsNote: ‘No one’ is written as two words, orsometimes with a hyphen: ‘no-one’.
Indefinite PronounsYou use indefinite pronouns when you want torefer to people or things without sayingexactly who or what they are. The pronounsending in ‘-body’ and ‘-one’ refer to people,and those ending in ‘-thing’ refer to things.
Indefinite PronounsI was there for one hour before anybodycame.It had to be someone with a car.Jane said nothing for a moment.
Indefinite PronounsWhen an indefinite pronoun is the subject, italways takes a singular verb, even when itrefers to more than one person or thing.Everyone knows that.Everything was fine.Is anybody there?
Indefinite PronounsWhen you refer back to indefinite pronouns,you use plural or possessives, and a pluralverb.Ask anyone. They’ll tell you.Has everyone eaten as much as they want?You can’t tell somebody why they’ve failed.
Indefinite PronounsWARNING: Some speakers prefer to usesingular pronouns. They prefer to say ‘Youcan’t tell somebody why he or she has failed’.
Indefinite PronounsYou can add apostrophe s (‘s) to indefinitepronouns that refer to people.She was given a room in someone’s studio.That was nobody’s business but mine.
Indefinite PronounsWARNING: You do not usually addaposthrophe s (‘s) to indefinite pronouns thatrefer to things. You do not say ‘something’svalue’, you say ‘the value of something’.
Indefinite Pronouns You use indefinite pronouns beginning with ‘some-’ in:• affirmative clauses Somebody shouted. I want to introduce you to someone.
Indefinite Pronouns• questions expecting the answer ‘yes’. Would you like something to drink? Can you get someone to do it?
Indefinite Pronouns You can use indefinite pronouns beginning with ‘any-’:• as the subject or object in statements Anyone knows that you need a license. You still haven’t told me anything. I haven’t given anyone their presents yet.
Indefinite Pronouns You do not use them as the subject of a negative statement. You do not say ‘Anybody can’t come in’.• in both affirmative and negative questions Does anybody agree with me? Won’t anyone help me?
Indefinite PronounsIf you use an indefinite pronoun beginningwith ‘no-’, you most not use another negativeword in the same clause. You do not say‘There wasn’t nothing’.There was nothing you could do.Nobody left, nobody went away.
Indefinite PronounsYou use indefinite adverbs ‘anywhere’,‘everywhere’, ‘nowhere’, and ‘somewhere’ totalk about places in a general way. ‘Nowheremakes a clause negative.I thought I’d seen you somewhere.No-one can find Howard anywhere.There was nowhere to hide.
Indefinite PronounsYou can use ‘else’ after indefinite pronounsand adverbs to refer to people, things, orplaces other than those that have beenmentioned.Everyone else is downstairs.I don’t like it here. Let’s go somewhere else.