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Understanding the Proper Usage of Indefinite Pronouns with Examples

Understanding the Proper Usage of Indefinite Pronouns with Examples

Pronouns that do not refer to a specific person or a thing are called indefinite pronouns. This Penlighten article explains this type of pronoun with easy examples, as well as provides a list of Spanish and Italian indefinite pronouns.
Penlighten Staff
Examples of Indefinite Pronouns
Few, little, each, anyone, someone, everyone, all, several, either, and neither.
Pronouns replace nouns in sentences, and help in avoiding the repetition of a noun. For example, "John is very intelligent. John always stands first in class." In this case, the usage of the noun 'John' becomes repetitive. However, if we use a pronoun, it becomes "John is very intelligent. He always stands first in class." The pronoun 'he' replaces the noun 'John', thus easing the flow of the language.
A pronoun is defined as the word that takes place of a noun. Pronouns are classified into personal, reflexive, intensive, reciprocal, demonstrative, relative, interrogative, possessive, and indefinite pronouns. Indefinite pronouns are those that refer to an unspecified person or a thing. They are used when the exact identity of the person or the thing being talked about is not known. They are indefinite in nature, and do not refer to any person, amount, or thing in particular.
What are Indefinite Pronouns?
Indefinite Pronouns
List of Indefinite Pronouns
SINGULAR PLURAL BOTH SINGULAR AND PLURAL
anybody both all
anyone few any
anything many most
each several none
either - some
everybody - -
everyone - -
everything - -
neither - -
nobody - -
no one - -
nothing - -
one - -
somebody - -
someone - -
something - -
Usage in Sentences
» Both of us are going to the concert.

» Many students were absent today.

» Anyone can participate in the competition.

» Each one of you will get a piece of cake.

» No one will make noise in the class.

» I don't have any money left.

» Someone is at the door.

» Everything is going to be okay.

» Most of my friends are out of town.

» Some of us are not feeling well.
Examples of Quotes with Indefinite Pronouns
» "A classic is something that everybody wants to have and nobody wants to read." ― Mark Twain

» "Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else." ― Will Rogers

» "Everybody likes a kidder, but nobody lends him money." ― Arthur Miller

» "I don't know anything about music. In my line, you don't have to." ―Elvis Presley

» "Of those who say nothing, few are silent." ― Thomas Neill
Indefinite Pronouns in Italian
Pronoun Meaning
alcuno any
alquanto somewhat
altro more
certo some
diverso different
molto very
parecchio some
poco little
taluno someone
tutto all
ciascuno each
nessuno nobody, no one
Indefinite Pronouns in Spanish
Pronoun Meaning
alguien someone, somebody, anyone, anybody
alguno, alguna, algunos, algunas one, some things or people
algo something
cualquiera anybody, anyone
mucho, mucha, muchos, muchas much, many
nada nothing
nadie nobody, no one
ninguno, ninguna none, nobody, no one
Otro/a, otros/as another, other one, another one, other ones, others
Poco/a, pocos/as little, little bit, few, a few
todo, todos, todas everything, all, everyone
uno, una, unos/as one, some
tanto as much
When learning how to differentiate between the singular and plural indefinite pronouns, it is better to have the list memorized. Although it might seem that pronouns like everyone, everything, and everybody should be plural, grammatically, they are always singular.