English grammar

Module 2, Pronouns, Lesson 8:

Indefinite Pronouns

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English grammar

Definition: If your plans for this weekend are indefinite, or not definite, then you are not sure. An indefinite pronoun is one that doesn't refer to a specific person or thing.

Indefinite Pronouns*
Singular Plural Singular or Plural
another
each
either
much
neither
one
other
anybody, anyone, anything
everybody, everyone, everything
nobody, no one, nothing
somebody, someone, something
both
few
many
others
several
all
any
more
most
none
some

*We'll cover the importance of the categories in the agreement lesson.

Here are some examples of indefinite pronouns:

Of these two sandwiches, neither looks like something I would eat.
Can no one tell me the answer to this math problem?
This solution is one of many.
Some are better than others.

Many indefinite pronouns can also be used as adjectives.

Pronoun: Either will be acceptable to my aunt.
Either stands alone as a pronoun.

Adjective: Either set of dishes will be acceptable to my aunt.
Either modifies the noun set.

Pronoun: There are 35 students in this class and several arrived late today.
Several stands alone as a pronoun.

Adjective: Several students arrived late today.
Several modifies the noun students.

There are a few indefinite pronouns that can be combined to form reciprocal pronouns. They are each other and one another. The word reciprocal means that an action is moving in two directions. For example, if I brush your hair and you brush mine, the action is reciprocal; we are brushing each other's hair. Reciprocal pronouns are used so that we don't have to repeat people's names when talking about who did what.

To replace two nouns, use each other.

Jorge and Melanie help each other study for tests.
Stephanie and Laurie bumped into each other in the hall.

To replace three or more nouns, use one another.

The police, firefighters, and paramedics help one another respond to emergencies.
Students always bump into one another in our crowded hallways.

Practice What You've Learned

English grammar
Directions:
Click on the indefinite pronouns in each sentence.
1.
Someone will bring something for the party.
2.
Many will be late, but some will be early.
3.
I hope nobody will lose his or her permission slips before the field trip.
4.
Many will have a great time at the museum, but some might be bored.
5.
Everybody brought something to donate so that nobody will go hungry on Thanksgiving.
6.
Neither of my sisters sings well, but both are good dancers.
7.
Few are finished with the test, but most will be done soon.
8.
Has anyone found any of the missing cookies?
9.
None of my homework is done because something on television caught my attention.
10.
Has anybody found something we can use to finish one of the building projects we have due?
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