Questions?

Check our FAQs for the quickest support.

FAQ

Did not find your answer?
Contact us

German indefinite pronouns

Our teachers

Looking for a language tutor? Contact one of our teachers!

Find a teacher

What are indefinite pronouns in German?

Indefinite pronouns in German are used for undefined subjects or objects. They have the function of generalizing.

Have a question?

Take online language lessons with a professional teacher

  1. Native & verified teachers
  2. Free trial lesson
  3. Learning materials included

List of most important indefinite pronouns

  • etwas - something
  • nichts - nothing
  • man - one/you (undefined)
  • jemand - somebody/someone/anybody/anyone
  • jeder - everybody/everyone/anyone/anybody/every(-thing)
  • nichts - nothing
  • alles - everything
  • etwas - something / a little
  • ein bisschen / ein wenig - a little
  • einige - some 
  • wenige - a few
  • mehrere -  various
  • ...


Declension of German indefinite pronouns

Regular declension

Some of the indefinite pronouns are declined like demonstrative pronouns. 

The table shows the declension at the example of 'einige' (some)

 MasculineFeminineNeuterPlural
Nominativeeiniger einigeeinigeseinige
Dativeeinigem einigereinigemeinigen
Accusativeeinigeneinigeeinigeeinige
Genitiveeinigeseinigereinigeseiniger

 

Examples:

  • Wie viele Äpfel hast du gepflückt? - Einige. - How many apples did you pick? - some.
  • Deutsch zu lernen fällt einigen schwer. - To learn German is hard for some (people).

Declension of man, jemand, jeder

In the table you can see the declension of man, jemand and jeder according to the German cases. You just need the masculine form for man and jemand. Jeder is declined according to the gender. These pronouns do not have a plural form.

 man jemandjeder (masculine)jeder (feminine)jeder (neutral)
Nominative man jemandjederjedejedes
Dative einemjemandemjedemjederjedem
Accutsativeeinenjemandenjedenjedejedes
Genitiveeinesjemandesjedesjederjedes

 

Examples:

  • Kann mir jemand helfen? - Can anybody help me?
  • Ich helfe immer gern jemandem- I always like to help someone.
  • Du kannst jeden fragen. - You can ask anyone.

Not declinable indefinite pronouns

enlightenedThe pronouns etwas, nichts, alles, ein bisschen, ein wenig are not declined. Those pronouns are always used in third-person singular and nominative case.

Examples:

  • Nichts kann mich mehr schocken. Nothing can shock me anymore.
  • Hast du etwas gesagt?  - Did you say something.

Usage of German indefinite pronouns

Types of indefinite pronouns

There are indefinite pronouns of three different types:

  • indefinite pronouns for personsman, jemand, niemand

  • indefinite pronouns for thingsetwas, nichts, alles, ein bisschen, ein wenig

  • indefinite pronouns for persons and thingsalle, einige, jeder, irgendein, kein, manche, mehrere, ein, welche


'Manche' vs. 'solche'

These words are used to speak about undefined groups of persons or things

 manchesolche
Usageused for a limited amount of a whole used fore differend things or persons of the same kind.
English translationsomesuch
Examples
  • Nicht alle Autos sind günstig, nur manche. -  Not all cars are cheap, just some. 
  • Viele Studenten lernen lagsam, manche jedoch schnell. - Many students learn slow, but some learn quick.
  • ​Das ist ein Sportwagen. Solche  sind Teuer. - Thats a sports car. Such are expensive.
  • Sudenten die schnell lernen, sind solche die es leichter haben. - Students who learn quick, are those who have it easier.

'Irgend-' in German

'Irgend-' means as much as 'some' or 'any'.

It is often added as an prefix to the pronouns 'jemand', 'etwas', 'ein', 'solche' or 'welche'.

'Irgend-' is used to enforce the generalization of the related subject or object.

Examples:

  • Irgendeiner hat die Milch aus dem Kühlschrank genommen! - Someone took the milk out of the fridge!
  • Ich habe die Milch irgendjemandem gegeben. - I gave the milk to somebody.
  • Ich möchte in den ferien irgendetwas unternehmen. - I want to do something during he vacation.


'Man' in German

The pronoun 'man' means one or more unspecified people. The word 'man' is always used third-person singular and nominative form.

Examples:

  • Man darf auf dem Schulhof nicht rauchen. - You must not smoke at the schoolyard.
  • Wenn es regnet, wird man nass. - If it rains, one gets wet.

For dative and accusative case we do not use 'man'. We use the word 'einem' for dative and for accusative we use 'einen'.

Examples:

  • Im Winter ist einem oft kalt. - In winter one feels cold often.
  • Was einen nicht umbringt macht einen stärker. - What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Indefinite adjectives vs. indefinite pronouns

In German we have indefinite adjectives which accompany a noun and indefinite pronouns to replace the noun

AdjectivePronoun
  • Sie hat ein bisschen Angst. - She is a little afraid.
  • Ein bisschen kannst du dir noch nehmen. - You can take a little bit more.
  • Daniel hat einige neue Freunde gefunde. Daniel found several new friends here.
  • Einige von ihnen sind jünger als er. Some of them are younger than him
  • Meine Tante hat genug Geld.My aunt has enough money.
  • Sie hat immer genug. - She always has enough.
  • Meine Kollegen haben mir alles Gute gewünscht. - My colleagues wished me all the best.
  • Es war nicht genug für alle da. - There was not enough for everybody.
  • Leider gibt es keinen Hinweis - Unfortunatley there is no clue.
  • Keiner muss zahlen. - Nobody needs to pay.
  • Jeder Mensch weiß etwas. - Every person knows something.
  • Ich kenne jeden in diesem Dorf. - I know everyone in this village.

Exercises

  1. Exercise of indefinite pronouns
  2. Exercise: Spot the German indefinite pronouns!

Exercise of indefinite pronouns


Exercise: Spot the German indefinite pronouns!


What our students say

Unlike in other platforms, all our teachers are manually verified by our professional team. Trust in the experiences of our students.
4.96/5
Hands down one of the best teachers I've had the pleasure of working with. Very knowledgeable in all aspects of Bulgarian (grammar rules, expressions, ...) but also in both English and French, which helps whenever you have a more in-depth question on the how or why something is the way it is in Bulgarian. Furthermore he has his own material and always comes prepared, but he is equally open to changing the subject of a lesson to suit your needs. He is patient, positive and not too scholarly, which is what you need as an adult learning day- to- day Bulgarian.I have been working with him for 18 months now and still look forward to our lessons every week.
An's Bulgarian has tremendously improved since she gave it go a year and a half ago. Of course, It goes without saying that I am pleased to work with such an enthusiastic learner who is living proof that, through hard work and perseverance, everyone can succeed in their language goals. An, you are now an independant user of the language who is able to successfully lead real-live conversations. Pat yourself on the back.
5/5
Elena is an excellent teacher and a very nice person. I have been training in Spanish with Elena for quite some time now after her being recommended to me by a friend, and have consistently been very pleased with our lessons. While I do not consider myself to be very good at learning foreign languages, Elena is very patient and adapts the lessons to my ability, making me feel at ease. In fact, I find her to be extremely skilled at assessing exactly where I am at any given time with respect to my individual learning situation, and structuring the lessons accordingly. I think I probably would have given up trying to learn Spanish had I not began my study with Elena; and that would have been a shame considering where I am now with the language. Because of Elena's skilled help, I am extremely pleased to not only be conversant in basic Spanish, but also have confidence that I will one day reach full proficiency with the language. No other learning method I tried before meeting Elena compares to the one-on-one, personalized instruction I receive from her, which comprises reading; writing; developmental exercises; and most importantly, conversation. To be able to look at Spanish now and have it appear largely familiar is extremely satisfying. I even plan to study Italian with Elena after reaching my desired level in Spanish. These are not things I ever imagined would occur at the beginning stages of my studies. I am a native English speaker and find Elena's English to be excellent. She had no difficulty instructing me from the very beginning levels where it was necessary that a lot of English be spoken in our lessons, to where we are now with much less English being spoken. The friend who recommended Elena to me learned Dutch from her, and is equally pleased with their experience. I would not hesitate to learn from Elena any of the languages she teaches. I give Elena my highest recommendations and thank her for all the help she has provided me.
Thank you for your feedback, Brandon! I am very happy to know that you are so satisfied with the lessons. I've always believed that you could make it and I am glad that we never gave it up. The right attitude and a high level of perseverance have been the keys to your success. It has been a pleasure to be your guide in your learning process. I know that you can do much more, so let's continue towards a next level!
5/5
Again a lesson full of fun anf full of learning opportunities. I really like Angels patience and ability to adapt to my learning process.
This student is one of the best ones I ever had in my long teaching career. She is always so diligent and willing to learn more and more. I am so happy to work with her and see the immense progress she has made since we first started working together. Thank you Silke!
5/5
I would highly recommend Tove. Her lessons are fantastic and I learn exactly what I'm interested in. Tove is very friendly, our chemistry goes well together and I really enjoy being tought by her.
Dear Anita, Thank you very much for your nice review! I enjoy our lessons very much too and I am so happy that our communication and chemistry fit well together. That's the best precondition for a good learning experience. See you soon!
5/5
We are an Italian family residing in France for 3 months, we have two 10 year old children who have just started attending CM1. We asked Natalia to give the children two lessons a week to speed up their learning. We are super happy with the choice. Nous sommes une famille italienne résidant en France depuis janvier, nous avons deux enfants de 10 ans qui viennent de commencer la CM1. Nous avons demandé à Natalia de leur donner deux leçons par semaine pour accélérer leur apprentissage. Nous sommes super contents de Natalia. We are an Italian family living in France since 3 months, we have two 10 year old children who have just started attending CM1. We asked Natalia to give the kids two lessons a week to speed up their learning. We are super happy with this choice.
Translated by Google Translate
Fabrizio's children are learning French very fast, I have the impression that these lessons online have been helpful for them and I am sure they will master the language easily. They are very interested in learning.
5/5
Daniela is a very pleasant and brisk teacher who has the talent to make you feel at ease immediately. Her lessons are a nice mix of conversation and theory. Again and again it is a nice hour to look forward to !! Thank you Daniela !!
Translated by Google Translate
Dear Hilde, thank you very much for your words. I'm glad you are satisfied with our time together. I will continue to do my best to make you practice your beautiful Italian in a cheerful and peaceful way :-)
Translated by Google Translate
5/5
It is always a pleasure to have English lessons with Corinne. The lessons are always a lot of fun and extremely interesting concerning on current affairs and unfortunately the time always ends too early. Very recommended.
Thank you, Danilo. It is always a pleasure having lessons with you and I have enjoyed our many conversations together. And what a joy that over time they have become easier for both of us to understand! :D
5/5
Carmen is really prepared and very very nice. She takes you by the hand and introduces you to portuguese language in a really pleasant way. I learned 3-4 sentences already on the first lesson!
Fabia is a very nice student and learns very quickly. It is a pleasure to teach her as she really likes to learn a difficult language like Portuguese and improved a lot.
5/5
It was very nice to take a lesson from Theano (Anny). She is adaptable to the student's level and is prepared to help the student as necessary. She is a friendly and caring teacher!
Σ' ευχαριστώ πολύ Μέγκαν! I'm glad you had a good experience and that you enjoyed it. Your excitment about learning greek motivates me even more :)
5/5
Marissa is a very professional teacher who can put the student at ease. It is precise, effective and oriented towards achieving the objectives: highly recommended.
Translated by Google Translate
Thanks so much Paola!!! I LOVE working with you guys and have enjoyed every moment. Even after this brief period, we can already start to see some changes. :-)
5/5
I have had many lessons with Luisa and I always look forward to them. We begin by chatting about the past week's events and them move to Espresso which I find very useful as a good review of material I have done in the past. There is often additional words used I had not met before. Luisa is always a pleasure to talk with and is a kind and pleasant teacher. She corrects me gently and offers useful words or meanings when appropriate.
Dear Martin thank you so much ! It's my pleasure taking class with you. And thanks a lot for your suggestion about Us movies ( Just Mercy) or Us books
5/5
I had my first lesson a couple of days ago and everything went super good! Karin was attentive, transmiting her positivism and helping me with every doubt I had. She really focus on teaching how to pronounce and talk a language, so this is really interesting for me, to practise it & be able to use it in my day by day. I really recommend her to everyone willing to learn a new language :)
Hi Alba! Thank you so much for your wonderful review! I enjoyed our class too & I wish you the best of luck with all your future projects :-)
5/5
A prepared and kind teacher, ready to teach with patience and good humor. He provided me with very useful materials to study and review even after the lesson. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn a language with a smile. Thanks Silvia :)
Translated by Google Translate
Thank you so much for the Chiara review! It was a real pleasure to have this lesson with you. I wish you a nice trip with the German language!
Translated by Google Translate
5/5
The lesson with Celia was perfect! She was puntcual, kind and her teaching method is effective and funny. She started the class with some "games" to get to know eachother and then we discussed about an article she provided. The time of the class passed really fast and I learned new vocabulary. Absolutely raccomended.
Thank you so much, Remark! I´m happy to know you enjoyed our lesson and I´m looking forward to having more in the near future! Cheers!
5/5
Ekaterina writes new words and sentences learnt during the lesson. She has got a very nice attitude and great accent! A pleasure to work with... yes, even in German!!!!!
Dear Silvia, thank you very much for your feedback! It's a real pleasure to have classes with you, and I hope you find them useful!
5/5