In Grammar By Victoria

Indefinite pronouns in English — Part 2

If you are reading this material, you obviously have read the first article devoted indefinite pronouns in English (Indefinite pronouns in English — Part 1). As you can see, this is the largest group of pronouns. Moreover, on each of them need to speak separately, as they have their own nuances of use. Yes, and the context in which they are used can also vary.

The emphasis on both

Translate this pronoun should these words: both he and the other; and … and. In Russian, the word is used in speech often enough. How we use this pronoun in the English language? As a pronoun, adjective, it performs the function of determining the sentence. Please note that the noun defined in this situation may be accompanied by the definite article.

Both these shops are too expensive. — Both of these stores are too expensive.

Both my friends are invited to this party. — Both my friend are invited to this party.

Indefinite pronoun is used both as a pronoun and a noun. Then its function in the sentence — subject, object, name of the predicate. When both a subject in a sentence, the verb-predicate should be put in the plural form.

Both of them are mine. — They’re both mine.

We were both in the hospital. — We were both in the hospital.

I know two versions of what has happened. Both are correct. — I know the two versions of what happened. Both are correct.

Did you watch the movies I advised you? Yes, I’ve seen both. — You saw the film, I advise? — Yes, I saw both of them.

Note the location of the indefinite pronoun both:

  • before the verb-predicate;
  • after the auxiliary verb to be;
  • between the auxiliary verb, if there are two;
  • after a modal verb (if we have the combination of the modal verb and the infinitive);
  • before the auxiliary or modal verb in short answers;
  • after the pronouns in the objective case.

They both took part in this competition. — They both took part in this competition.

They should both be disqualified! — Both of them should be disqualified!

We have both been tested. — We were both tested.

Who will tell him? We both will. — Who can tell him? — Both of us.

I am fond of them both. — I like both of them.

And finally, here’s a thing: both indefinite pronoun is not used in negative sentences. To help him and to replace the pronoun comes neither, which we will discuss below.

Neither of them believed me. — They both did not believe me.

Pronouns either, neither

The first of the presented pronouns translated «one or the other one of the two, either of the two», and, accordingly, refers to two persons or objects. When the pronoun, adjective, it is used with countable nouns in the singular.

Either book will do. — Any of these (two) books do.

I did not like either restaurant. — I do not like neither one nor the other restaurant. (and two restaurants)

When either — it is a noun, a pronoun, it is often accompanied by the pretext of:

Either of you may come. — Any of you can come.

Do not forget: if either is subject, predicate verb should be placed in the singular form.

Either of the examinations was failed. — Both the exam were not delivered. (both test failures)

Negative option either — it is an indefinite pronoun neither. And it has the appropriate translation: neither one nor the other; no one.

Neither of my friends is reliable. — Not for any of my friends can not be trusted.

Is she German or British? Neither. She is American. — She’s a German or an English? — Neither one nor the other. She is American.

Pronouns each, every

Between these two indefinite pronouns in the English language there is a slight difference: the first one is used for a limited number of persons or objects, and the second no limits. Translation from them is the same — everyone (from every even «just»).

Working as a pronoun, adjective, each placed before countable noun in the singular.

Each man will be paid according to his ability. — Each worker will be paid in accordance with its classification.

Each building contains twenty flats. — Each house has twenty apartments.

But as a noun-pronoun is a word in most cases (but not always) the company takes a preposition of:

He gave each of us a ticket. — He gave us each a ticket.

The apples cost 20 pence each. — Apples are twenty pence apiece.

But every indefinite pronoun can only work as a pronoun, an adjective in front of countable nouns in the singular.

Not every man can swim. — Not everyone knows how to swim.

He checked the buses coming every ten minutes. — He checked the buses coming every ten minutes.

Behind every great man there is a great woman. — Behind every great man is a great woman.

In the first article we talked about the pronouns derived from the words of some, any, no: somebody, anyone, nothing, anywhere, etc. Every indefinite pronouns can also form other pronouns with the words body, one, thing, where: everybody, everyone (every, every, everything), everything (everything) everywhere (everywhere). In the proposal these words (except everywhere) are subject or as used as nouns, pronouns. Note: the verb-predicate them has a singular form.

Everyone has his own opinion. — Everyone has their own opinion.

Everybody hates him. — Everyone hates him. (Everybody hates it).

Everything you know about fitness is a lie. — Everything you know about fitness, is a lie.

English is everywhere! — English is everywhere!

Pronouns other, another

Translation of pronouns other / another are the words «other, the other.» And we use them and how we can nouns and as adjectives. If it is a pronoun, adjective, we put it in front of a noun (in any number). Moreover, before the other can be a pronoun and definite and indefinite article. Combined with an indefinite article we get the pronoun another, which can also be translated as «even».

We must find some other way. — We must find another way.

There was no other place to go. — There was nowhere else to go.

We shall visit the other parks tomorrow. — We need to visit other parks tomorrow.

Let’s join them another time. — Let’s go with them next time.

Will you have another cup of coffee? — You will be more coffee?

Pronouns other, another we use to replace a noun in the singular: if you want to replace the word with the indefinite article, we take another; if a certain the other. If you need to replace a noun in the plural, use the form others.

She has bought one bag, and now she is going to buy another. — She bought one bag, and now is going to buy another one.

There is one key in this drawer. Where is the other? — In this box one key. Where else?

I chose this article because there were no others describing this problem. — I chose this article because there were no other, describing the problem.

The pronoun one

Newest indefinite pronoun in the English language, to which we pay attention, is the pronoun one. As a noun, a pronoun, the word is used:

  • As subject to indefinite-personal sentences:

    One must study English. — It is necessary to learn English.

  • To avoid repetition noun that mentioned earlier:

    Do not you want to buy a dictionary? — Thanks. I have one. — You’re not going to buy a dictionary? — Thank you, I have a (one).

    The white bridge is longer than the black one. — The white bridge length black.

    We have two different questions. Which one would you like to answer? — We have two different questions. Which would you like to respond?

However, it should not be used after the possessive pronouns — my, his, her, our, your, their — and after nouns in the possessive case.

This is my book. Yours is on the other table. — It is my book. Your friend is on the table. (not your one)

My house is bigger than Jack’s. — My house is more at home Jack. (not Jack’s one)

Information describing indefinite pronouns in the English language, get enough. Therefore, if you learn the material of both articles, it can rightly be proud of yourself!



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