Module 4, Verbs: Agreement and Challenges, Lesson 9:

Agreement: Indefinite Pronouns


This lesson will help you learn how to make indefinite pronouns and verbs agree. When people talk, they often use the wrong verb, but in writing, it's important to use the correct one. You'll need to pay attention to whether the pronoun is singular or plural.

Singular Pronouns

These pronouns always require a singular verb:

another anybody anyone anything each
either everybody everyone everything much
neither nobody no one nothing one
other somebody someone something
It's always nice when someone appreciates your hard work.
Nobody goes into the abandoned warehouse because it's haunted.

You may be surprised at a few of the pronouns on this list, especially everyone and everybody. They sound like more than one person or thing, right? Just remember that these pronouns are short for every single one. You use them to talk about what each individual does, not what many people do.

Everybody has certain inalienable rights.
Everyone experiences challenges in life.

Plural Pronouns

These indefinite pronouns always require a plural verb:

both few many others several
Both have driver's licenses.
Only a select few win the Pulitzer Prize.

For the always plural indefinite pronouns, ignore the prepositional phrase.

Singular or Plural Pronouns

The indefinite pronouns below can be either singular or plural. If the word after the pronoun is singular, use a singular verb. If the word is plural, use a plural verb.

all any more most none some

All of the cake has been eaten.
There is only one cake.

All of the cookies have been eaten.
There are many cookies.

When asking a question, you often use a form of the helping verb to do plus another verb. Always remember that the helping verb, not the main verb, is the one that agrees with the pronoun.
Does anyone know what time it is?
Do you know what time it is?

Practice What You've Learned

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Choose the correct verb to complete the sentence.
Of these two sandwiches, neither looks/look like something I would eat.
Can no one tells/tell me the answer to this math problem?
Some is/are better than others.
Of these two options, either is/are acceptable.
There are 35 students in this class, and several arrives/arrive late each day.
Do/Does anyone know where my keys are?
Is/Are any of these seats taken?
Some of the cupcakes is/are in the freezer.
None of us has/have taken the driving test yet.
There is/are more pasta left over from last night.