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English Lesson 1 : Singular and Plural Indefinite Pronouns

What are Indefinite Pronouns?

Indefinite pronouns refer to those words which replace nouns without specifying which noun they replace.

Indefinite Pronouns can be Singular or Plural.

(a) Singular indefinite pronouns: another, anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, little, much, neither, nobody, no one, nothing, one, other, somebody, someone, something, less, little, much.

Singular indefinite pronouns are used with singular verbs.

  • Everybody is awake
  • Everyone is invited to the party.
  • Nobody wants to be the school mascot.
  • I have tried everything but nothing makes her smile.

(b) Plural indefinite pronouns: both, few, some, fewer, many, others, several, all.

Plural indefinite pronouns are used with plural verbs.

  • Others do not want to be involved in this issue.
  • Both are very responsible kids.
  • Many are called but few are chosen.

Note, however, that some indefinite pronouns can be singular in one context and plural in another. It all depends on how the pronoun is used in the sentence or in the paragraph. Here are some indefinite pronouns which can sometimes be used as singular, sometimes plural.

All – may refer to the whole quantity or it can refer to individual things or people.

  • All is forgotten
  • All are here.

Any – may refer to one or many unspecified pieces, objects, or people.

  • Any doctor can help you. You don’t have to find a specialist.
  • I do not have any suitcases with me.

More – a greater quantity

  • More have left (referring to more guests).
  • There is more where that came from.

Most – nearly all

  • Most have declined.
  • Most is gone.

None – not any, no one

  • None of the students got an A.
  • None of the cake was eaten.

Some – refers to an unspecified quantity of something.

  • Here is some.
  • Some have arrived.

Such – referring to something which belongs to the type mentioned.

  • Such is not a good idea.
  • Such words are not acceptable in formal conversations.

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