Indefinite Pronouns: Definition, Purpose, and Examples

5 September 2023 / Team Fun English Course

Indefinite pronouns have many purposes. However, the most important one is to generalize things to ease the interaction.

Imagine having to address everybody’s name during a large meeting, like;

“Good morning, Suzy, Robert, Ali, Sofia, Darren, ……..”

Or maybe, having to list down all the things you’ve lost during a robbery, like;

“The robber stole my wallet, keys, makeup pouch, hand sanitizer…”

That would be awkward – not to mention it’d waste a lot of time. In that situation, you need to use indefinite pronouns.

What is indefinite pronoun, and what are examples of them? Continue reading to know more.

Indefinite Pronoun: Way to Simplify Your Sentence

Definition of indefinite pronouns

Indefinite pronouns are everywhere. You can find them in verbal interaction or in writing. In fact, you may already use them in your daily conversation.

Like all pronouns, it’s used to replace a noun. However, an indefinite pronoun replaces the noun that is uncertain or vague.

For example, instead of saying;

“Good morning, Suzy, Robert, Ali, Sofia, Darren, ……..”

You can just say;

“Good morning everyone.”

Moreover, indefinite pronouns aren’t limited to referring to a person but also any other objects, amount, or place – as long as it’s vague.

Indefinite Pronouns List and Their Types

Types of indefinite pronouns

What is considered an indefinite pronoun?

Before we dive into the explanation, it’s important to understand that there are three types of indefinite pronouns: plural, singular, and singular/plural.

Typically, when you use plural indefinite pronouns, you’ll follow them with plural verbs. Furthermore, the same principle also applies to singular indefinite pronouns.

However, there are also some singular/plural indefinite pronouns that you can use in both contexts.

Don’t be confused, here are some indefinite pronouns examples:

1. Plural

  • Both of his brothers are involved in the accident.”
  • “Where have you been? I called you many times!

2. Singular

  • I broke up with him because he cheated with another girl.
  • Either you finish the whole meal or starve until dinner.”

3. Plural/Singular

  • None of you really know her,” or None of the avocados are ripe.”
  • All is forgotten, not forgiven,” or “All of the students are safe.”

Need more examples? Here are some of them:

Singular

Plural

Singular/Plural

Either

Everybody

Others

Any

Neither

Everyone

Both

Some

Anything

Somebody

One

None

Nothing

Someone

Several

All

Anybody

Something

Few

Most

Anyone

Another

Many

More

Nobody

Each

They

Such

Less

Little

  

Much

   

Why Do We Use Indefinite Pronouns?

Purpose of indefinite pronouns

What is the purpose of indefinite pronouns? There are many. Take a look at these examples to understand them:

1. To Show Absence

  • Nobody attended my birthday party last night.”
  • “Let’s go to the store. There’s nothing left in the refrigerator.”

2. Refer to a Non-specific Object

  • “I don’t want to open the drawer. There’s something inside, and it’s moving.”
  • Someone was in your basement last night. You may want to put surveillance there.”

3. Show Multiple Probabilities

  • “Does anybody want to bring Wes home? He’s super drunk.”
  • “Is there any medicine that tastes good? I doubt it.”

4. Show Quantities

  • “Take some of my books. You’ll need it for the exam.”
  • “You give me a gallon of lemonade when I only need half of it.”

5. Rule Out Something from a Group

  • Neither of her daughters is getting into the basketball team this year.”
  • “Get me some oranges. It’s only a dollar each.

6. To Refer to All

  • Everything for the trip is ready.”
  • “Wait a minute, I need to say hi to everybody.

Want to Learn More About Indefinite Pronouns?

Learn indefinite pronouns

With more practice, understanding English grammar rules such as indefinite pronouns is easy. However, that can only happen if you choose the right place and the right teacher to help. Let us in the Fun English Course assist you with that.

In Fun English Course, we only serve the best practice method. You can choose from various programs, and each is guided by A-list tutors to ensure you reach your goals. 

With Fun English Course, learning about indefinite pronouns or any other topic will be fun, interactive, and enjoyable. So, give us a  call and prove it yourself.

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