Public Works and Government Services Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional Links

 
Search TERMIUM Plus®
To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

indefinite pronouns

Pronouns are words that take the place of a noun. Pronouns can do anything that a noun can do. For example, they can be subjects or objects of a verb.

Unlike personal pronouns (e.g. he, she, they), indefinite pronouns do not refer to a specific person or thing already named. They are indefinite words like someone, others, several or few.

Singular indefinite pronouns

The following indefinite pronouns are always singular:

  • one
  • anyone, everyone, no one, someone
  • anybody, everybody, nobody, somebody
  • another, the other
  • either, neither
  • each
  • little, less
  • much

Plural indefinite pronouns

The following indefinite pronouns are always plural:

  • both
  • few, fewer
  • many
  • others
  • several

Indefinite pronouns that can be singular or plural

The following indefinite pronouns can be either singular or plural, depending on the context:

  • all
  • any
  • more
  • most
  • none
  • some

Here are some examples:

  • All of the cake is gone. [singular idea, since all is referring to cake]
  • All of the cupcakes are gone. [plural idea, since all is referring to cupcakes]
  • None of the meat has spoiled. [singular idea, since none is referring to meat]
  • None of the apples have spoiled. [plural idea, since none is referring to apples]

Possessive indefinite pronouns

Unlike personal pronouns, indefinite pronouns do not have different subject, object and possessive forms.

However, an indefinite pronoun that refers to a person can become possessive by taking the ending ’s:

  • I found somebody’s wallet on the hiking path.
  • The server brought everyone’s order except Tim’s.