English indefinite pronouns
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What are indefinite pronouns?
Indefinite pronouns as the name suggest do not refer to a specific place, thing, person nor quantity. They can be both countable and noncountable. The majority of them are formed from a specific stem (any-, some-, every-,no-) completed with the endings of -one, -body, -where and -thing.
Indefinite pronouns list
|Stem / Ending||-one||-body||-where||-thing|
These are the most commonly used indefinite pronouns. We use the one with the endings "one" and "body" to refer to people. Whereas "thing" is for objects and actions, and "where" for unknown locations.
Use of indefinite pronouns
- "Any" and its compounds are used with affirmative, negative, and interrogative phrases.
- "Some" and its compounds are used with affirmative and interrogative phrases.
- "Every" and its compounds are used with affirmative phrases to showcase a complete quantity.
- "No" and its compounds are used only with negative phrases.
Warning: We can not deny things twice, so in the case of "No" compounds, the verb will go in the affirmative to avoid double denial.
Indefinite pronouns with examples
- We can go anywhere you like.
- I couldn't find you anywhere.
- Does anyone know where the restroom is?
- Some people can't help themselves when it comes to chocolate.
- Do you need help with something?
- Everybody wants to be like him.
- No one is allowed to enter this room.
- Nobody is interested in that project.
Indefinite pronouns and verb agreement
It is important to ensure there is an agreement between the two otherwise the sentence would not be grammatically correct. In a majority of the cases after the use of an indefinite pronoun, the accompanying verb straight after it is in singular form. When we refer back to the pronoun we use the plural forms they and them.
- Everyone likes them in our community.
- Anyone can join as long as they are willing to put the work.
- No one wants to join them on the mission.
- Everyone is responsible for their own actions.
Indefinite quantifier pronouns
Quantifier pronouns are used to indicate a quantity that is not precisely known. They are countable and noncountable, based on what is being discussed one needs to use the correct form.
Quantifier pronouns list
|Countable + plural verb / nouns||Uncountable + singular verb /nouns|
*One is an exception of the countable nouns because the verb following it needs to be singular.
**Most and more are present in the two columns because they can be both countable and uncountable. It is often specified so that the distinction is understandable.
- There are a few eggs left in the fridge.
- Only one has arrived in good condition.
- Most of them were answered
- Most of it was spoiled, I could tell by the taste.
- I've had enough of your attitude.
- Several of them crossed the finishing line before him.
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