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THE INDEFINITE PRONOUNS

somebody someone something

anybody anyone anything

nobody no one nothing

everybody everyone everything

We use indefinite pronouns to refer to people or things without saying exactly who or what they are.
We use pronouns ending in -body or -one for people, and pronouns ending in -thing for things:
Everybody enjoyed the concert.
I opened the door but there was no one at home.
It was a very clear day. We could see everything.
We use a singular verb after an indefinite pronoun:
Everybody loves Sally.
Everything was ready for the party.
When we refer back to an indefinite pronoun we normally use a plural pronoun:
Everybody enjoyed the concert. They stood up and clapped.
I will tell somebody that dinner is ready. They have been waiting a long time.
We can add -'s to an indefinite pronoun to make a possessive.
They were staying in somebody’s house.
Is this anybody’s coat?
We use indefinite pronouns with no- as the subject in negative clauses (not pronouns with any.)
Anybody didn’t come >> Nobody came.
We do not use another negative in a clause with nobody, no one or nothing:
Nobody came.
Nothing happened.
We use else after indefinite pronouns to refer to people or things in addition to the ones we already
mentioned.
All the family came, but no one else.
If Michael can’t come we’ll ask somebody else.
So that's eggs, peas and chips. Do you want anything else?

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THE INDEFINITE PRONOUNS
Indefinite pronouns do not refer to a specific person, place, or thing. In English, there is a particular
group of indefinite pronouns formed with a quantifier or distributive preceeded by any, some,
every and no.

Person Place

All everyone everywhere


everybody

Part (positive) someone somewhere


somebody

Part (negative) anyone anywhere


anybody

None no one nowhere


nobody

Indefinite pronouns with some and any are used to describe indefinite and incomplete quantities in
the same way that some and any are used alone.

Indefinite pronouns are placed in the same location as a noun would go in the sentence.

Noun Indefinite pronoun

I would like to go to Paris this summer. I would like to go somewhere this summer

Jim gave me this book. Someone gave me this book.

I won't tell your secret to Sam. I won't tell your secret to anyone.

I bought my school supplies at the mall. I bought everything at the mall.

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AFFIRMATIVE
In affirmative sentences, indefinite pronouns using some are used to describe an indefinite quantity,
the indefinite pronouns with every are used to describe a complete quantity, and the pronouns
with no are used to describe an absence. Indefinite pronouns with no are often used in affirmative
sentences with a negative meaning, but these are nevertheless not negative sentences because they
are lacking the word not.

EXAMPLES

 Everyone is sleeping in my bed.


 Someone is sleeping in my bed.
 No one is sleeping in my bed.
 I gave everything to Sally.
 He saw something in the garden.
 There is nothing to eat.
 I looked everywhere for my keys.
 Keith is looking for somewhere to live.
 There is nowhere as beautiful as Paris.

Any and the indefinite pronouns formed with it can also be used in affirmative sentences with a
meaning that is close to every: whichever person, whichever place, whichever thing, etc.

EXAMPLES
 They can choose anything from the menu.
 You may invite anybody you want to your birthday party.
 We can go anywhere you'd like this summer.
 He would give anything to get into Oxford.
 Fido would follow you anywhere.

NEGATIVE SENTENCES
Negative sentences can only be formed with the indefinite pronouns that include any.

EXAMPLES
 I don't have anything to eat.
 She didn't go anywhere last week.
 I can't find anyone to come with me.

Many negative sentences that include an indefinite pronoun with any can be turned into affirmative
sentences with a negative meaning by using an indefinite pronoun with no. However, there is a
change in meaning with this transformation: the sentence that includes an indefinite pronoun
with no is stronger, and can imply emotional content such as definsiveness, hopelessness, anger, etc.

EXAMPLES
 I don't know anything about it. = neutral

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 I know nothing about it. = defensive
 I don't have anybody to talk to. = neutral
 I have nobody to talk to. = hopeless
 There wasn't anything we could do. = neutral
 There was nothing we could do. = defensive/angry

NEGATIVE QUESTIONS
Indefinite pronouns with every, some, and any can be used to form negative questions. These
questions can usually be answered with a "yes" or a "no"

Pronouns formed with anyand every are used to form true questions, while those
with some generally imply a question to which we already know or suspect the answer.

EXAMPLES
 Is there anything to eat?
 Did you go anywhere last night?
 Is everyone here?
 Have you looked everywhere?

These questions can be turned in to false or rhetorical questions by making them negative. The
speaker, when posing a question of this type, is expecting an answer of "no".

EXAMPLES
 Isn't there anything to eat?
 Didn't you go anywhere last night?
 Isn't everyone here?
 Haven't you looked everywhere?

Some and pronouns formed with it is only used in questions to which we think we already know the
answer, or questions which are not true questions (invitations, requests, etc.) The person asking these
questions is expecting an answer of "Yes".

EXAMPLES
 Are you looking for someone?
 Have you lost something?
 Are you going somewhere?
 Could somebody help me, please? = request
 Would you like to go somewhere this weekend? = invitation

These questions can be made even more definite if they are made negative. In this case, the speaker
is absolutely certain he will receive the answer "Yes".

EXAMPLES
 Aren't you looking for someone?
 Haven't you lost something?
 Aren't you going somewhere?
 Couldn't somebody help me, please?

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EXERCITII

Fill in something/anything - somebody/anybody - somewhere/anywhere.

1. She said , but I didn't understand anything.

2. Has found my blue pencil? No, I'm sorry.

3. Would help me, please? Yes, I can help you.

4. Have you got to eat? No, I haven't.

5. Tom, can you give me to drink, please?

6. Is there in the house? No, it's deserted.

7. Do you know about London transport? No, I don't.

8. What's wrong? There's in my eye.

9. Do you like to drink? Yes, please.

10. has broken the window. I don't know who.

11. He didn't say .

12. I'm looking for my keys. Has seen them? No, I'm sorry.

13. Teach me exciting.

14. I didn't eat because I wasn't hungry.

15. Dad, can we go on Sunday? Yes, what about going to the zoo?

1. I'm sure I put my keys down .


2. Calm down ! There's to worry about.
3. Let's sit down and talk.
4. I heard a knock on the door, but there was there.
5. We didn't see .
6. The restaurant was really crowded. had a good time.
7. Be quiet ! is coming.
8. I don't think knows the answer to that question.
9. She can't go without people recognising her.
10. I've got to tell you.
11. I was bored during the holidays. I did and went nowhere.
12. I woke up and suddenly seemed better.
13. There was water all over the floor. It was .
14. Did see Tom Cruise's last film ?
15. I'm sure there's downstairs.
16. understands me.

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17. Let's go different tonight.
18. must hand in their work by Friday.
19. The trouble is that there is in town for young people to do.
20. I don't know at this party. I want to go home.

Fill in some, any, someone, anyone, something, anything, somewhere or anywhere.

1. She bought new skirts.

2. He never does homework.

3. We have to eat.

4. Let's go else.

5. I cannot hear .

6. I have questions.

7. He lives near the city centre.

8. There was't at home.

9. broke the window.

10. Have you seen my key? I can't find it .

11. He didn't want to eat .

12. Would you like tea?

13. I haven't got more questions.

14. I saw at the window.

15. I saw them minutes ago.

Fill in SOME, ANY, SOMETHING, ANYTHING, SOMEONE, ANYONE

1. Have you got free time on Wednesday afternoon ?


2. There’s strange about the way Peter’s acting today.
3. Nobody can find out about when the exams should be.
4. Is there we should bring to the meeting ?
5. of Laura’s friends were at the party last night.
6. I had three sets of house keys, and I can’t find of them now.
7. Do you know if of the Morrises are coming on Sunday.
8. Can I get you coffee ? - I’ve just made .
9. I haven’t done for the exam yet.
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10. If there’s soup left, could you put it in the fridge ?
11. Helen can ride a bike without help.
12. Harriet has got beautiful jewellery, but she never wears
it.
13. Have you got children ?
14. He hasn’t got money.
15. She didn’t say .
16. There must be outside. Go and find out.
17. We got there without difficulty.
18. He never listens to .
19. I can’t find margarine, but we’ve got butter.
20. Emma has got old pictures to show us.
21. I haven’t got to wear at the party.

In this exercise you will practise using the


words everybody, everywhere and everything.

22. 1 It's the biggest shop in the city – they sell .

23. 2 is hungry because it's dinner time.

24. 3 Do you have you need for your holiday?

25. 4 The party was great. enjoyed it.

26. 5 My brother knows about football. He loves it.

27. 6 The centre of Prague is beautiful but there are tourists .

28. 7 London's a brilliant city, but is quite expensive.

29. 8 Their garden is full of flowers. There are roses and tulips .

30. 9 I like my new job. The work is interesting and is very friendly.

31. 10 I haven't got a car. I travel by public transport.