Indefinite Pronouns


Objectives of today’s lesson:

In this lesson, Learn English with Julia presents to you “Indefinite Pronouns”, in order to to be able to answer the following questions:

  • Is all a singular or plural Indefinite Pronoun?
  • What are the Indefinite Pronouns in English?
  • What is the meaning of Indefinite adjectives?

Video Script
Hello and welcome to this video dedicated to indefinite pronouns!
Indefinite pronouns are also known as
some- any- and no- pronouns
We use them to show unspecified objects or people
whether in the singular or plural.
And they are used to indicate the entire noun, some or none of the noun
And refer to a group
without actually specifying who, what, how much…
As they are pronouns we generally use them when something or someone has been mentioned earlier in the text.
And be careful because although these indefinite pronouns are used to indicate a whole noun
or a group of nouns,
they are always followed by the third person singular.
They are singular.
So just be careful when creating question tags
and when replacing the indefinite pronouns by personal pronouns
because there are some difficulties, some changes.
Now let’s look at the actual pronouns, their forms and usage.
Therefore, the any- pronouns are:
anyone, anybody, anything, and anywhere
We use them in three particular cases:
IF ANYONE KNOWS WHEN IT IS (when the meeting is, for example)
This is when we are addressing a group
but without specifying whom we are addressing.
No one in particular, just the group.
Here we use the entire noun.
I have circled the verb here so that you can see
that it is singular, it is a third person singular.
Careful here. I have underlined the personal pronoun ‘they”
because in the sentence: IF ANYONE KNOWS, COULD THEY?
Do you see what has happened here?
It has become plural (the personal pronoun).
Second case. When we use any- pronouns
question or interrogative form:
Does anyone know when he arrived?
Other questions could be:
Is there anything for me to do?
Are they anywhere? Etc.
The third case: negative statement.
I haven’t told anyone.
It is negative grammatically, not just in meaning.
So I need the “not” before “any”.
I haven’t told anyone.
This is a negative statement.
The second type. Pronouns with “some”:
someone, somebody, something, somewhere
We use them in three different scenarios.
When we are addressing or mentioning a single element or person
You should ask someone.
When we are creating an affirmative sentence.
I will prepare something nice.
And finally, when we make an offer or request.
Could someone help me?
Let’s finish off now with the no- pronouns.
Be careful with the spelling of no one.
Two separate words, not one.
nobody, nothing, and nowhere
However, the difference between ONE and BODY:
We use -one in written English
and -body in spoken English.
That’s the only difference.
Therefore, look at the spelling here.
When do we use these no- pronouns?
When we are addressing nothing
or when the sentence is negative.
Nobody knew the answer.
There is nothing to eat in the fridge.
Common mistakes would be using a double negative
I DO NOT KNOW NOTHING *, which is incorrect.
The correct sentence would be: I know nothing.
A good way to memorise that is:
NOTHING contains the word NOT.
That’s why you don’t need “not” before it.
I know nothing.
I don’t know anything.
This is one of the most frequent errors.
Do watch the video on the question tags.
Check the personal pronouns and
Thanks for watching!

Grammar Quiz:


Keywords listed in English:

  • Indefinite Pronouns
  • some- pronouns
  • any- pronouns
  • no- pronouns

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