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Indefinite pronouns never refer to anything specific. The term refers to something vague, rather than a specific thing, amount, or person. Here are some examples:
- somebody/someone, all, another, one, several, any, anybody/anyone, anything, nobody, none, some, something, both, each, many, neither, either, everybody, everything.
Many indefinite pronouns are seen in other parts of speech. For example, the word another can be used in a number of ways:
- He went to one class in the daytime and another in the evening. (pronoun)
- She bought another cat. (adjective)
When using indefinite pronouns, they are usually either singular or plural. Usually, this changes with their context, so in one case the pronoun can be used in a plural form and in the other in a singular form. The most common examples of indefinite pronouns are listed in the examples below. You will see that the examples can be singular or plural. Note that singular pronouns use a singular verb. Personal pronouns need to agree with the singular pronoun. Here are some examples:
- I know both brothers. Only one has shown me his car.
- Either of them worked with Billy.
Plural pronouns also need to agree with plural subjects:
- Several others have their own cars.
- Few of them left before I arrived.
Chart of Indefinite Pronouns
|another||One more person or thing||I liked the first story. Can you read me another?|
|anybody||any person||Will anybody be coming with you?|
|anyone||Is anyone else going to be there?|
|anything||any of the things||The teacher hasn’t assigned anything for our homework.|
|each||every one of the people or things in a group||Each had a fever and a cough.|
|either||one of two options||Please bring me either since I am not picky.|
|enough||as much as needed||I’ve had enough for today.|
|everybody||all people||Everybody ate a cookie with me.|
|everyone||Is everyone coming?|
|everything||all things||I own one of everything in the store.|
|less||a smaller quantity||She did less than was expected.|
|little||a small quantity||She had very little left by the time they arrived.|
|much||a large quantity||Not too much happened on TV last night.|
|neither||not either of the people or things mentioned||I can’t eat apples or bananas. Please bring me neither.|
|nobody||no person||Nobody was home.|
|no one||No one knew where Sam went.|
|nothing||not a thing||I did nothing all day.|
|one||an unidentified person||One can draw a picture.|
|other||people who haven’t been discussed yet||One had a dog, the other had a bird.|
|somebody||an unknown person||Somebody must have read my book.|
|someone||Quiet, someone might hear you.|
|something||an unknown thing||I just ate something.|
|you||a person being addressed directly||You baked a cake.|
|both||two things or people grouped together||Betty likes both on her sandwich.|
|few||a small amount of things or people||I only ate a few as opposed to John who ate a lot.|
|fewer||a smaller number of things or people||I own fewer than I did a year ago.|
|many||a large amount of things or people||There were many more in the race than expected.|
|others||other people not previously mentioned; not us||Others have painted their own homes.|
|several||over two, but not as much as many||Several bought pizza instead of hotdogs.|
|they||people in general (informal)||They all went to the playground.|
|singular or plural|
|all||the entire amount or every person||All have left for the next class.|
|any||an unknown amount||Did you eat any or all of them?|
|more||a greater amount of people or things||I just bought more for you in case you need them.|
|most||almost all||Most speak only one language.|
|none||no person or persons||None had gone to Japan prior to the trip.|
|some||an unspecified amount||Some had lunch while others did not.|
|such||an amount or description already given||It was a tragedy, and she reacted as such.|
More examples of indefinite pronouns:
- Will anybody help me with this paper?
- Will you all be going to church tonight?
- Is Susan going to make any?
- We are going to try out another later tonight.
- Each is responsible for contributing five dollars.
- Can anyone help me take out the trash?
- Did you find out anything about your job interview?
- Sam and I are going to take care of everything for you.
- Everyone ran outside to see what the noise was.
- Do you have many of them need to be written?
- No one is coming to my party tonight.
- One was able to hear the fans screaming at the Super Bowl.
- Several came over to watch the parade.
- Somebody called here looking for you.
- Do you know if someone will be there to let me in?