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.

Examples:

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.

Examples:

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.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: