Indefinite Pronouns Followed by Singular or Plural Pronouns?

Indefinite Pronouns

everyone, everybody, everything

someone, somebody, something

anyone, anybody, anything

no one, nobody, nothing


In statement sentences, everyone, everybody, someone, somebody, no one, nobody are always considered as singular (he or she); therefore, they take singular verb.


Somebody has stolen his car.

No one was late to class.

Has everyone handed in the paper?


In question tags, those indefinite pronouns are considered as plural: they.


Everyone should use computer for their work, shouldn’t they?

No one needs any help, do they?

Nobody wants to believe his words, do they?


Formal English:

Somebody left his book on the desk.

Everyone has his own ideas.

A singular personal pronoun is used in formal English to refer to an indefinite pronoun.


Informal English:

Somebody left their book on the desk.

Everybody has their own ideas.

In spoken English, a plural personal pronouns is often used to refer to an indefinite pronoun.


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