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Pronouns

Why do indefinite pronoun cause problem for students?

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August 25, 2017 5:56PM

It can cause a problem for students to determine if an indefinite pronoun is singular or plural.

An indefinite pronoun may be singular or plural, or may function as either singular or plural.

The singular indefinite pronouns are:

another

anybody

anyone

anything

each

either

enough

everybody

everyone

everything

less

little

much

neither

nobody

no one

nothing

one

other

somebody

someone

something

you (a person in general, any person)

The plural indefinite pronouns are:

both

few

fewer

many

others

several

they (people in general, any people)

The indefinite pronouns that can be used as singular or plural are:

all

any

more

most

none

some

such

Another problem with indefinite pronouns that students may encounter is that the pronouns listed here can function as other parts of speech; for example,

  • You may have some, there is more in the kitchen. (indefinite pronoun)
  • You may have some pancakes, there is more in the kitchen. (adjective)
In the first example, the word 'some' is taking the place of the noun for whatever is being offered. In the second example, the word 'some' is functioning as an adjective, describing an amount of pancakes.