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Indefinite Pronouns

An indefinite pronoun is used in place of a noun which is unnamed or unknown. It is used to refer persons, places, or things, whose numbers and identity are not defined.

Examples of Indefinite Pronouns:
  1. Anyone can organize the ceremony.

  2. Anything can happen in this unpredictable world.

  3. Everyone has the right to know what is happening around the world.

  4. Everybody is free to do what pleases him/her and achieve success in his/her own way.

  5. None have the right to question others, for everyone is entitled to his/her privacy.

  6. No one was willing to discuss the problem.

  7. Several houses and shops were destroyed in fire.

  8. Many joined the campaign against the increase in taxation.

  9. All crew members wore their own helmets.

  10. Some of the students handed in their reports early.

Related Calculators
Evaluate Indefinite Integral Calculator
 

Indefinite Pronouns List: 

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The table below lists the most commonly used indefinite pronouns.

                        INDEFINITE PRONOUNS                               
 Singular              Plural                    Singular or Plural     
 another  both  all
 anybody  few  any
 anyone  many  more
 anything  others  most
 each  several  none
 either    some
 everybody     such
 everyone    
 everything    
 little    
 much    
 neither    
 nobody    
 no one    
 nothing    
 one    
 other    
 somebody     
 someone    
 something    


Singular Indefinite Pronouns:

Some indefinite pronouns are always singular, including those that end in –one, –body, and –thing. They take a singular verb, regardless of intervening words or phrases.

Examples:

 Indefinite Pronoun                                          Sentence                                                                       
 Anybody  If anybody has a pen, please lend it for some time. 
 Everyone  Everyone enjoys listening to music.
 Something  Something is worrying Dr. Frost.
 One (it means ‘any person’ or ‘every person’)       One of my friends lives in Brazil.                                       
 Neither  Neither of the beverages is cold.
 Each (of two or more – every group, 
 person, or  thing,  taken separately) 
 Each of the students has finished his/her assignments. 


Plural Indefinite Pronouns
Other indefinite pronouns like both, few, many, and several are always plural.

Examples:

 Indefinite Pronoun                       Sentence                                                                                                 
 Both  Both the scientists have been working in the labs for weeks now. 
 Few  Few were late for the conference on disaster management.
 Many  
 Many people were trapped in the ferry, and they were
 eventually rescued by helicopter. 
 Several  Several of the survivors were pulled out of the water.

Singular or Plural Indefinite Pronouns

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Some indefinite pronouns like all, any, none or some may be either singular or plural, depending on the antecedent.

Examples:

 Indefinite Pronoun                Sentence                                                                                                                      
 All  
 All of the cheese in the refrigerator is spoiled (cheese – uncountable noun) 

 All her efforts to arrive promptly were in vain. (efforts – plural noun)

 Some   
 Some of the money was donated to charity. (money – uncountable noun)
 
 Some of my old friends were invited to the party. (friends – plural noun)
 
 Most  
 Most of the meat has lost its tenderness. (meat – uncountable noun)
 
 Most people love watching science fiction and adventure movies. (people – plural noun) 


From the above examples, we notice that the agreement depends on the number of the antecedent.
Test Yourself

I. Underline the verb in the parentheses that agrees with the indefinite pronoun of each sentence.
  1. Either of the team members (is, are) prepared for the meeting.
  2. No one (reside, resides) in the old mansion.
  3. Several ships (lays, lay) at anchor in the harbor.
  4. Some of the contestants (was, were) quite nervous.
  5. All the players (is, are) practicing for the big game on Sunday.
  6. None of the houses (are, were) painted and furnished.
II. Look at the pictures and write a paragraph using Indefinite Pronouns.

indefinite-pronouns


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