Indefinite Pronouns – Indefinite Pronouns in English

You indefinite pronouns in english (indefinite pronouns) are those that substitute or accompany the noun in an imprecise or indeterminate way.

That is, they do not refer to any specific person, place or object. For this reason, they are called indefinite.

Classification and Examples

Indefinite pronouns in English are classified in two ways according to their function in the sentence:

  • Indefinite Pronouns (noun pronoun)
  • Indefinite Adjectives (adjective pronoun)

Many of the indefinite pronouns are formed with the words disappear, any, at the and every.

When they are related to people, the pronouns have the ending: –body or –one. For things, the termination is –thing. And for places it's –Onde.

add up

Alone, the term disappear means some, some, one, some, one(s), some(s), something, about, certain(s), certain(s), some.

When accompanied by suffixes, the translation can be different, for example:

Word Translation Examples
somebody somebody Somebody is missing. (Someone is missing)
someone somebody Someone up to the last piece of pizza. (Someone ate the last piece of pizza)
something something We are looking for something to eat. (We are looking for something to eat)
somewhere somewhere Somewhere in Brazil. (Somewhere in Brazil)
someway in some way I will get there someway. (I'll get there somehow)

Some and its derivatives are used in affirmative sentences. In some cases, some can appear in interrogative sentences.

Any

The term any means: any, any, some, some, some, none, none, one, ones, one(s). However, many words are suffixed, they are:

Word Translation Examples
Anybody nobody Can anybody help me with my homework? (Can someone help me with my homework?)
Anyone anyone, no one I didn’t know anyone at the party. (I didn't know anyone at the party)
anything nothing I didn't hear anything. (I did not hear anything)
Anywhere anywhere I would go anywhere with you. (I would go anywhere with you)
Anyway anyway, way

Anyway, we found a place to eat. (Anyway, we found a place to eat)

O any and the other indefinite pronouns associated with it are usually used in negations or questions.

At the

O at the is used as an adjective pronoun. already the none as a noun pronoun. However, the translation of both is the same: none, none. When suffixes are added, the translation changes, for example:

Word Translation Examples
Nobody nobody Diana threw a party, but nobody shown up. (Diana threw a party, but no one showed up)
no one nobody I thought I heard someone, but there was no one there. (I thought I heard someone, but there was no one there)
None none, none None of these apples is ripe. (None of these apples are ripe)
Nothing nothing I have nothing in my purse. (I have nothing in my bag)
nowhere nowhere Where are you going? Nowhere. (Where are you going? Nowhere)
No way no way Will you lend me some money? No way! (Do you lend me some money? No way.

The pronouns with at the are used in negative sentences.

every

The term every depending on its context it means all (s), all (s) and each. When they receive the suffix, the translation is different:

Word Translation Examples
todo Mundo everybody, everybody Everybody I know prefers chocolate to vanilla. (Everyone I know prefers chocolate to vanilla)
everyone everyone, everyone Everyone wants to come to the party. (Everyone wants to go to the party)
Everything everything Everything is possible. (Everything is possible)
everywhere everywhere God is everywhere. (God is everywhere)
every way anyway, all the senses

The new system is functioning perfectly in every way. (The new system is working perfectly in every way)

Note that these pronouns are used in affirmative or interrogative sentences.

In addition to them, there are other widely used indefinite pronouns:

Word Translation Examples
one some, some, we, right, a certain He is the one. (he's the right one)
All all, all, all All of these clothes need to be sold. (All these clothes need to be sold)
much very, many I spend a lot of time reading. (I spend a lot of time reading)
Many many, many I have many t-shirts. (I have many shirts)
little little, little I am a little upset. (I'm a little upset)
Few few, few Few have ever seen this sculpture. (Few have seen this sculpture)
Fewer any less There will be fewer people at lunch than I expected. (There will be fewer people at lunch than I expected)
Each each Each person is different. (Each person is different)
such such, such I find such people very annoying. (I think such people are very boring)
other other(s), other(s) I have other things to do. (I have other things to do)
another another, another I would like another tea, please. (I would like another tea, please)
either one or the other, one or the other, each I like both pants. I would be happy with either. (I like both pants. I would be happy with one or the other)
Neither neither one nor the other, none of the two

Neither one of them understood what was happening. (None of them understood what was going on)

Both both, both I have two sisters. I like both. (I have two sisters. I like both)
Enough enough, enough That's enough. (That's enough)
Several many, many Several things have to be done this week. (Several things have to be done this week (Mackenzie-SP) _________ of you can speak English well.

See too:

  • Few and little
  • Hours in English
  • This, that, these and those
  • who and who
  • which and what

1. (Mackenzie-SP) _________ of you can speak English well.
a) None
b) No one
c) Nobody
d) Anybody
e) Someone

Alternative to: None

2. (FATEC) He left without ________ money.

a) disappear
b) in the
c) no one
d) any
e) none

Alternative d: any

3. (ITA) _________ cures a headache faster than an aspirin.

a) Nothing
b) None
c) Nobody
d) Somebody
e) Anybody

Alternative to: nothing

Read too:

  • English pronouns
  • adverbs in english
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