Some pronouns are definite in that they replace a specific noun or another pronoun. But sometimes things aren’t so clear-cut. We don’t need to refer to anything or anyone definite. So what do we do for a pronoun? In those cases we use indefinite pronouns.
What are Indefinite Pronouns?
As the name suggests indefinite pronouns are pronouns that are not definite in meaning. In other words they are not specific in which noun they replace. They may be singular or plural, and must match the verb in number.
There are two categories of indefinite pronouns. The first category includes pronouns that refer to a nonspecific noun. These pronouns are:
The second category of indefinite pronouns are those that point to a specific noun whose meaning is easily understood only because it was previously mentioned or because the words that follow the indefinite pronoun make it clear. These pronouns are:
Not to confuse you but keep in mind the pronouns in this group can function as adjectives if nouns directly follow them.
Singular and Plural Indefinite Pronouns
As mentioned previously indefinite pronouns may be singular or plural and the verb has to match in number. Below is the list of singular indefinite pronouns.
The following are plural indefinite pronouns:
Some indefinite pronouns may be singular or plural. It all depends on the noun it stands for. These pronouns include all, any, either, none, some, more, most. The rule states that when these pronouns are followed by a prepositional phrase, the pronoun must agree in number with the object of the preposition. The verb in the sentence must agree in number with the antecedent. Sound confusing? Here are two examples:
In this case work requires a singular verb and books requires a plural verb.
Examples of Indefinite Pronouns
To sum it all up, use indefinite pronouns when the noun substitute doesn’t have to be definite in meaning. Remember that they can be singular or plural in the corresponding verbs must match the number.