Agreement with Indefinite Pronouns

For more help with subject-verb correspondence, see plural. Some indefinite pronouns may take singular or plural verbs, depending on the context. Compare the following pairs of sentences. A plural verb is used with pronouns both few, many and several, which are always plural: Note: In the examples above, the pronoun does not mean “no”. This pronoun can also be used with the singular meaning “not one”. Authors who want to emphasize this singular meaning can choose the pronoun even if none is followed by a plural noun: Study Area / Level 410 – Intermediate / Grammar Topics / Agreement with Indefinite Pronouns Sometimes an indefinite pronoun is followed by a prepositional sentence like this: the noun +. Beware of this kind of sentence. Indefinite and possessive pronouns have not yet agreed on the number. It doesn`t matter if the noun is singular + or plural. See the examples below to better understand how to deal with this type of sentence.

British English follows the same rules of agreement, but there are subtle differences in usage. For example, our neighbours opposite think that the words business and government are plural nouns rather than singular. The indefinite pronouns of everyone, everyone, someone, person, person, person, person are always singular and therefore require singular verbs. Excerpt from The Complete Idiot`s Guide to Grammar and Style © 2003 by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form whatsoever. Used in consultation with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Remember to use singular personal pronouns when referring to any of these words, as in the sample sentences below. Indefinite pronouns refer to people, places, objects, or things without referring to a specific. For a complete description of indeterminate pronouns, see Language parts. Some indefinite pronouns, such as the two, little, many, others and several, are considered plural. Consider the following examples.

The names of sports teams that do not end in “s” will take a plural verb: the Miami Heat has watched, the Connecticut Sun hopes that new talent. For help with this issue, see plurals. The indefinite pronoun many a is always singular, because in many a person is tired of jumping© antelope on melba toast. *The New Fowler`s Modern English Usage edited by R.W. Burchfield. Clarendon Press: Oxford, England. 1996. Use with permission from Oxford University Press.

p. 242. Some pronouns that are always singular: another, everyone, everyone, everyone, everyone, either enough, everyone, everything, everything, little, a lot, person, person, person, nobody, nothing, one, another, someone, someone, something. It is important to know whether an indefinite pronoun subject is singular or plural so that we can agree on the verb. Pronouns ni and both are singular and require singular verbs, although in a sense they seem to refer to two things. If your sentence is composed of a positive subject and a negative subject and is of a plural, the other singular, the verb must correspond to the positive subject. In informal writing, neither or both sometimes adopt a plural verb when these pronouns are followed by a prepositional sentence that begins with von. This is especially true for interrogative constructions: “Did any of you two clowns read the task?” “Do any of you take this seriously?” Burchfield calls this “a conflict between a fictitious agreement and an actual agreement.” * If you are sure you understand the lesson, you can continue the exercises. Also keep in mind that singular indefinite pronouns take verbal forms, while indefinite plural pronouns take verbal forms.

Notice the difference between the singular that everyone needs and the plural that many need. Click here for more information on verb matching. Some indefinite pronouns (e.B. everything, everyone, everyone, the other) are always singular. They are also generally inclusive, that is, they refer to both men and women. When these singular pronouns are used as inclusive precursors, the pronouns that refer to them must be both singular and inclusive: Note: In informal language and writing, to avoid it or its variations, people often use inclusive plural pronouns they or one of its forms with a singular precursor: some indefinite pronouns such as all, some are singular or plural, depending on what they refer to. (Is the thing referred to countable or not?) Be careful when choosing a verb that accompanies such pronouns. On the other hand, there is an indefinite pronoun, none that can be in the singular or plural; It often doesn`t matter if you use a singular or plural verb, unless something else in the sentence determines its number.

(Writers generally think that none of them mean and choose a plural verb, as in “None of the engines work,” but if something else makes us think of none as not one, we want a singular verb, as in “None of the food is fresh.”) Some indefinite pronouns are particularly annoying Everyone and everyone (also listed above) certainly feels like more than one person and therefore students are sometimes tempted to use a plural verb with them. However, they are still singular. Each is often followed by a prepositional sentence ending with a plural word (each of the cars), confusing the choice of verb. In addition, each one is always singular and requires a singular verb. If indefinite plural pronouns (e.B both, few, many, many) are used as precursors, the pronouns that refer to them must be plural: indefinite pronouns are non-specific words like someone, other, several or none. .

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