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NAVIGATE:   Learn English - Course Index Page
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Unit 42: - Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns replace specific things with general, non-specific concepts. For example:
- I want to live abroad in Italy.
- I want to live abroad somewhere.
This unit covers indefinite pronouns made with some, any, no, and every.

Some / any

Some and any can be combined with "-thing" to refer to an undefined object. For example:
- There's someone outside the door.
- There isn't anyone in the office.

Some and any can be combined with "-where" to refer to an undefined location. For example:
- I'm looking for somewhere to live.
- We don't want to live anywhere near here.

Some and any can be combined with "-body" or "-one" to refer to an undefined person. There is very little difference in meaning between "-body" and "-one". For example:
- If you have a problem, someone/somebody will help you.
- Do you know anyone/anybody who can help?

These compound nouns follow the same rules as some and any, that is some is used in affirmative statements, and any is used in negative statements and questions. For example:
- I need something from the supermarket.
- I don't need anything from the supermarket.
- Do you need anything from the supermarket?


No can be combined with various nouns to mean an absence of something. For example:
- "Did you find your wallet? No, there's nothing here."
- "Did anything happen?" "No, nothing happened."

- This job is going nowhere. (It's not getting better.)
- Nowhere is as good as here. (I like here the best.)

- Is anybody here? No, there's nobody here.
- I waited for an hour but nobody came.

Sometimes words with no- can have more emphasis than words with any. For example:
- I didn't tell anyone what happened.
- I told nobody what happened.


Every can be used to mean a group or total of individual things. For example:
- Everything in this house is simple and useful.
- Jane was sick last night, but everything is OK now.

- Everyone was at Michael's birthday party last night.

- Baseball caps come from America, but people wear them everywhere.


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