AppStore

Download our 100% free app

Find everything you need to learn English

Practice with the exercises:
Exercise 1 Exercise 2

1. Indefinite pronouns with some, any, no and every

The indefinite pronouns are those words that are used to refer to people, animals or objects, without saying exactly who or what they are because it is not important to mention them or because their identity is unknown.
There is nobody in the room.
I have something in my eye.

2. When do we use the indefinite pronouns: some, any, no and every?

The indefinite pronouns constructed with some, any, no and every vary depending on whether we are referring to people, things or places and also depending on the type of sentence: affirmative, negative or interrogative.

  Personas Cosas Lugares
SOME Somebody / Someone Something Somewhere
ANY Anybody / Anyone Anything Anywhere
NO Nobody / No one Nothing Nowhere
EVERY Everybody / Everyone Everything Everywhere
  • Affirmative sentences

    The indefinite pronouns used in sentences with a positive verb are:

      Pronouns Examples
    PEOPLE Somebody / Someone Unspecified or unknown person There is somebody in the kitchen.
    Anybody / Anyone It doesn’t matter who Anyone can be a hero.
    Nobody / No one No person Nobody knows the truth.
    Everybody / Everyone All people Everybody is excited.
    THINGS Something Unspecified or unknown thing There is something under the table.
    Anything It doesn’t matter what thing I would do anything to get his autograph.
    Nothing Not a thing It's nothing, don't worry.
    Everything All things Everything is ready.
    PLACES Somewhere Unspecified or unknown place Let's find somewhere to park the car.
    Anywhere It doesn’t matter what place Your keys could be anywhere.
    Nowhere No place This road leads nowhere.
    Everywhere All places I've looked everywhere.

    Pronouns with some are used to describe an undetermined person, thing or place. The pronouns with no imply an absence of people, things or places and the pronouns with every, refer to the whole set of people, things or places.

    Pronouns with the particle no, are used with a positive verb because in English you cannot use two negative forms in one sentence.

    I want nothing. / I don't want nothing.
  • Negative sentences

    Indefinite pronouns used in sentences with a verb in the negative form mainly begin with any:

      Pronouns Examples
    PEOPLE Anybody / Anyone Not a person I don't know anybody in this party.
    Everybody / Everyone All people She didn't invite everyone to the party.
    THINGS Anything All people There isn't anything inside the box.
    Everything All things You haven't put everything in the suitcase.
    PLACES Anywhere Not a place There isn't anywhere to park the car.
    Everywhere All places I can't be everywhere.
  • Interrogative sentences

    The indefinite pronouns used in interrogative phrases are as follows:

      Pronouns Examples
    PEOPLE Somebody A person Are you looking for somebody?
    Anybody / Anyone A person Is there anybody home?
    Everybody / Everyone All people Is everyone in the car?
    THINGS Something A thing Did you say something?
    Anything A thing Is there anything I can do for you?
    Everything All things Is everything all right?
    PLACES Somewhere A place Are you going somewhere?
    Anywhere A place Did you go anywhere last weekend?
    Everywhere All places Why is there water everywhere?

    In general, in interrogative sentences, we use indefinite pronouns with any. However, when we are quite sure that the answer to the question is a yes, we use some. That usually happens when the question is an offer or a request.

    Do you want to talk to someone in particular?
    Would you like something to drink?

Indefinite pronouns are used with a singular verb.

(he/she) Somebody is talking to our teacher.
(he/she) Nobody wants to work on Sundays.

Remember!

Indefinite pronouns are used taking into account the element to which they refer (person, animal, object or place) and the type of sentence (affirmative, negative or interrogative) in which they appear.
  Pronoun Affirmative Negative Interrogative
PEOPLE Somebody / Someone Unspecified or unknown person - A person
Anybody / Anyone It doesn’t matter who Not a person Not a person
Nobody / No one Not a person - -
Everybody / Everyone All people All people All people
THINGS Something Unspecified or unknown thing - A thing
Anything It doesn’t matter what Not a thing A thing
Nothing Not a thing - -
Everything All things All things All things
PLACES Somewhere Unspecified or unknown place - A place
Anywhere It doesn’t matter what place Not a place A place
Nowhere Not a place - -
Everywhere All places All places All places

 

Share: