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English Indefinite pronouns – Mystery Easily Explained

The following are referred to as indefinite pronouns in English: someone, no one, anyone, everyone, something, nothing, anything, everything, somewhere, nowhere, anywhere, everywhere.

English Indefinite Pronouns List

[av_table purpose=’tabular’ pricing_table_design=’avia_pricing_default’ pricing_hidden_cells=” caption=” responsive_styling=’avia_responsive_table’ custom_class=” av_uid=’av-3phgot’] [av_row row_style=’avia-heading-row’ av_uid=’av-3ica79′][av_cell col_style=’avia-center-col’ av_uid=’av-3enkf9′]People[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=’avia-center-col’ av_uid=’av-bh0lp’]Things[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=’avia-center-col’ av_uid=’av-313ujx’]Places[/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=” av_uid=’av-2u98gt’][av_cell col_style=’avia-center-col’ av_uid=’av-2nwo2l’]Someone[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=’avia-center-col’ av_uid=’av-2m95bp’]Something[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=’avia-center-col’ av_uid=’av-2gdvm5′]Somewhere[/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=” av_uid=’av-28e8od’][av_cell col_style=’avia-center-col’ av_uid=’av-258opp’]No one[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=’avia-center-col’ av_uid=’av-1w3bgl’]Nothing[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=’avia-center-col’ av_uid=’av-1skkyl’]Nowhere[/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=” av_uid=’av-1ijj9x’][av_cell col_style=’avia-center-col’ av_uid=’av-51uud’]Anyone[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=’avia-center-col’ av_uid=’av-19dadx’]Anything[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=’avia-center-col’ av_uid=’av-14wav1′]Anywhere[/av_cell][/av_row] [av_row row_style=” av_uid=’av-wen05′][av_cell col_style=’avia-center-col’ av_uid=’av-2jsk5′]Everyone[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=’avia-center-col’ av_uid=’av-21j5h’]Everything[/av_cell][av_cell col_style=’avia-center-col’ av_uid=’av-gqykd’]Everywhere[/av_cell][/av_row] [/av_table]

How to use Indefinite Pronouns in English?

This short detective story shows how English indefinite pronouns can be used:

The phone in the police station rang sharply. It was after midnight. The detective answered the call.

The caller asked if SOMEONE could come quickly to the university as SOMETHING strange was going on. When the detective arrived there was NO ONE at the door so he walked into the main hall. EVERYONE was gathered there so he asked for an explanation as to what had happened. The main spokesman said one of the class had disappeared and they feared for his safety. They had searched the university inside and out and upside down but the missing student was NOWHERE to be found.

How can I use indefinite pronouns in English?

The detective took down some details and asked the other students to continue the search. He told them to ask ANYONE who knew the student well to see if he was with them and for the others to continue the search EVERYWHERE in the grounds of the university. It was important to try and recall ANYTHING of interest that might give them a clue as to where he might be found. EVERYTHING even small things might be the key to his successful discovery. If NOTHING has happened by early morning he the detective would organise a manhunt. He had to be SOMEWHERE as this was not a normal situation. By 8 am that morning he had still not been located. ANYWHERE he might have been had been searched thoroughly. His friends were very concerned and the mystery deepened.

Someone – to refer to a person or people without saying exactly who they are

e.g. He was hoping that someone would be at home as he had forgotten his key.

Everyone – to refer to all of the people without naming them specifically

e.g. The new President was elected unanimously and everyone was happy.

Nowhere – used in a positive sentence but has a negative meaning

e.g. They were all homeless. They had nowhere to live.

[av_font_icon icon=’ue83f’ font=’entypo-fontello’ style=” caption=” link=” linktarget=” size=’30px’ position=’left’ color=’#d7263d’ custom_class=” av_uid=’av-154hh’][/av_font_icon]Pronouns with any- are not used in negative clauses. Instead, we use indefinite pronouns with no- :

Anybody didn’t answer the phone.

Nobody answered the phone.

Use Indefinite Pronouns correctly

Try your knowledge of indefinite pronouns now. Fill in the gaps, one of each of these will fit in below. Leave your answers in the comments.

Anything, someone, anyone, something, somewhere, anybody

1. ____________ called yesterday, but I don’t know who it was.
2. He had______________to eat before he went home.
3. Have you seen my phone? I put it down _________________ and now I can’t find it.
4. Are you seeing  ______________ else?
5. I’ve just moved to a new town, and I don’t know ____________.
6. I haven’t had ______________ to eat since I arrived.

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