Referring to People - anyone, anybody, someone, everyone, no one, somebody, nobody,
These are used to talk about unspecified people or about people in general.
Let's put them in groups according to their significance and use.
- anyone /anybody
- nobody/no one
- everyone / everybody
Use anyone /anybody when the name of the person is unmentioned.
In a question these have the same meaning - any person regardless of who.
Mary hears a knock at the door, but she is not expecting any particular person. (She is not
expecting anyone.) John, her husband, answers the door. She asks, " Do you see
anyone/anybody at the door?"
He answers, " Yes, there is someone/somebody here.
Use someone/somebody when the name of the person is unmentioned.
In a statement these have the same meaning - any person regardless of who.
We were at a party. The head waiter, Tim, wanted to know if everybody/everyone (meaning all )
had been served his special ice cream treat. The waiters told him that everyone/everybody had
received dessert and that nobody/no one ( meaning not even one person) had refused his
special ice cream treat.
Referring to Things - something, anything, nothing, everything
These are used to talk about unspecified things or about things in general.
Everything is going my way. (all things)
Something is bothering him. (We don't know what that thing is.)
I didn't buy anything. (not one thing)
I bought nothing. (not one thing)
Use anything in a negative sentence.
Use nothing in an affirmative sentence.
As subject of a sentence, an indefinite pronoun always takes a singular verb.
It might be important to mention the following words even though they are
not all indefinite pronouns.
An adverb meaning
in some unspecified
and adverb meaning
not in or to any place
an adverb meaning
in or to in all places
I lost my wallet somewhere on the beach.
There is nobody anywhere who has a dinosaur as a pet.
I read the story twice. Nowhere did it mention a creature with one eye.
Books are so popular that you find them everywhere.
Indefinite Pronouns can be used as subjects, subject compliments and objects.
They are excited about something. (Here something is the object of the preposition about.)
Everyone took the test. ( Here everyone is the subject in the sentence)
She is probably someone very important to him.( compliment to the subject He)
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