An Introduction to Indefinite Pronouns – With Examples
  • 3-minute read
  • 12th July 2023

An Introduction to Indefinite Pronouns – With Examples

What Is an Indefinite Pronoun?

We use indefinite pronouns to refer to unspecified or unidentified nouns (persons, places, things, or ideas).

But before we dive deeper into indefinite pronouns, we should take a quick look at pronouns

 in general so we know which part of English grammar we’re dealing with.

What Are Pronouns?

Pronouns are substitutes for nouns. We use them where a noun has already been named

or is understood from the context of the writing. Pronouns make our writing more concise.

Take a look at any social media platform, and you’ll see the phrase my pronouns in

users’ profiles. “My pronouns are she/her” and “My pronouns are they/their” are examples.

She and they replace the name of a person once that name has been used.

Indefinite Pronouns

We use indefinite pronouns to refer to an unspecified or unidentified person, place, thing, or idea.

Because indefinite pronouns don’t replace specific nouns, they don’t have an antecedent.

They are much more general than the other types of pronouns.

How Can I Tell Whether a Pronoun Is Indefinite?

The indefinite pronouns we use for people end in one or body.

The indefinite pronouns we use for places end in where.

The indefinite pronouns we use for things end in thing.

Indefinite Pronouns for People

Here are some examples of indefinite pronouns for people:

someoneeveryoneanyoneno one
Somebody told a joke.

Everybody laughed at it.

Anybody could have told it.

Nobody could stop laughing at it.

Someone asked me to dance, and everyone admired our salsa.

Anyone can try to dance the salsa, but no one can dance it as well as we can.

There is no difference between the body and one endings, so which one we use doesn’t matter.

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Indefinite Pronouns for Places

I’m looking for somewhere to live.

Everywhere in the city is too expensive.

Anywhere near a major route will be fine.

Nowhere is as nice as my home town.

Indefinite Pronouns for Things

Please just choose something from the menu.

Everything looks delicious. It’s so hard to choose.

Hurry up, or there won’t be anything left!

You’re too late. There’s nothing left!

Subject–Verb Agreement and Indefinite Pronouns

We use a singular verb after an indefinite pronoun.

Everyone loves birthday cake.

Something in this recipe tastes amazing!

Possessive Indefinite Pronouns

To make an indefinite pronoun possessive, we add an apostrophe, followed by s.

Is this anybody’s hat?

Someone’s perfume smells lovely.

Indefinite Pronouns in Negative Clauses

If we’re writing a negative clause, we use no pronouns, not any pronouns:

Nobody laughed.
Not anybody laughed.


·   Indefinite pronouns refer to unspecified or unidentified people, places, things, and ideas.

·   Indefinite pronouns for people end in one or body.

·   Indefinite pronouns for places end in where.

·   Indefinite pronouns for things end in thing.

·   Take care with:

o   Subject–verb agreement

o   Possessive indefinite pronouns

o   Negative clauses


How can I tell that a pronoun is indefinite?

It will usually end with one, body, where, or thing.

How can I be sure I’ve used indefinite pronouns correctly?

Our experts will check your writing for you. Contact us here for help.

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