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Indefinite Pronouns

What is an indefinite pronoun?

Indefinite pronouns are those referring to one or more unspecified objects, beings, or places. They are called “indefinite” simply because they do not indicate the exact object, being, or place to which they refer.

Indefinite pronouns include partitives such as any, anybody, anyone, either, neither, nobody, no, someone, and some; they also include universals such as every, all, both, and each; finally, they include quantifiers including any, some, several, enough, many, and much. Many indefinite pronouns can also function as determiners.

There are just two important rules for using indefinite pronouns correctly. Remember these and you will find that writing comes easier for you.

  • Indefinite pronouns are never plural. They are always singular.
  • Because indefinite pronouns are singular, the pronouns or verbs used to refer to them should also be singular.

Examples of Indefinite Pronouns

In the following examples, the indefinite pronouns are italicized.

Many are called, but few are chosen.

Somebody ate my sandwich!

Everyone says she is beautiful inside and out.

No one wants to hear about my health problems.

Either choice has its advantages.

Indefinite Pronouns Exercises

The following exercises will help you gain greater understanding about how indefinite pronouns work. Choose the best answer to complete each sentence.

  1. __________________ is making my computer act up.
    1. Anyone
    2. Something
    3. Each
    4. Everyone

Answer: B. Something is making my computer act up.

  1. Does _______________ know what’s happening tonight?
    1. Anybody
    2. Anyone
    3. Someone
    4. A, B, and C

Answer: D. Any of these words may be used in this sentence.

  1. _____________ baker presented a beautiful cake to the king.
    1. The
    2. One
    3. Each
    4. Both

Answer: C. Each baker presented a beautiful cake to the king.

  1. I don’t know __________ of the answers.
    1. Anyone
    2. Any
    3. Everyone
    4. No one

Answer: B. I don’t know any of the answers.

  1. ____________ happens for a reason.
    1. Anybody
    2. Everything
    3. Some
    4. Somebody

Answer: B. Everything happens for a reason.

Indefinite Pronouns List

Anybody

Anyone

Anything

Each

Each one

Either

Neither

Everybody

Everyone

Everything

Nobody

No one

Nothing

Somebody

Someone

Something

Both

Many

Few

All

Most

None

Some