Indefinite pronouns refer to people or things in general, that is they do not specify a particular person or thing. Such pronouns include all, another, anybody, anyone, anything, both, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, few, little, nobody, no one, none, nothing, one, other, several, some, somebody, someone, something. Indefinite pronouns can be singular or plural in a sentence. Those that end in –body and –one are always used as singular. Indefinite pronouns that are always plural include both, few, many, others and several. Other indefinite pronouns, depending on how they are used, can be used as singular or plural: all, any, more, most, none, and some.

Indefinite pronouns that refer to people are anybody, anyone, everybody, nobody, one, somebody, etc. These pronouns ending in –body and –one are always singular.

Examples:

  • I heard a noise from the other room but there wasn't anybody there.
  • Anyone is welcome to help wash my car.
  • Everybody is waiting to hear the good news.
  • Nobody wants to listen to my ghost stories.
  • One has to know when to keep quiet and listen.
  • Somebody has left a bunch of keys here.
 

Indefinite pronouns that refer to things such as anything, everything, nothingsomething, etc. are singular.

Examples:

  • He blames others whenever anything happens to him.
  • She's pretty happy that everything is fine with her new job.
  • I have already told you there is nothing wrong with me.
  • There is something on your forehead.
 

Indefinite pronouns that refer to people and things: all, any, none, some, etc. These pronouns can be plural or singular, depending on how they are used.

Examples:

Using all:

  • He told the new members that all are welcome to the club.
  • All we know is that the rumours about him are not true.

Using any:

  • Are any of you coming along to the cinema?
  • There wasn't any food left when I got there.

Using none:

  • None of my uncles is/are taller than my father.
  • You want some more soup, but I'm sorry there is none left.

Using some:

  • Some of them just don't (do not)know what they are talking about.
  • Some more butter is needed to make the cake.

 

Indefinite pronouns that are always singular: nothing, other, either, little, neitherno one, one.

Examples:

  • There is nothing to see around here.
  • I'll buy this pair; the other is more expensive.
  • The police think either of the suspects is involved in the crime.
  • Little is known about his whereabouts.
  • Neither of them wants a divorce for the sake of the children.
  • There is no one in that room, yet somehow I heard a voice calling my name.
  • One has to be aware that in every friendship there has to be some give-and-take.

 

Indefinite pronouns that are always plural include both, few, others and several.

Examples:

  • I cannot forget those two fat monkeys, both of which were obviously overfed.
  • There are a few countries I would like to visit before I die.
  • One escaped prisoner was recaptured while two others were still at large.
  • Several of the crocodiles are believed to have escaped from the crocodile farm.
 

(See List 10 - Pronouns for the list of indefinite pronouns.)