• When we are talking about a word, inflection, or phrase, ‘indefinite’ means not determining the person, thing, time, etc. referred to.
  • An indefinite time might be expressed with present perfect.  “I have done it” Nobody knows exactly when.
  • An article can express something that is not defined.  “Give me a chair”  Which chair doesn’t matter, anyone is ok.
  • Indefinite pronouns also carry the same vague meaning:  “Somebody took my chair”  I don’t know who…etc.

indefinite pronoun + ELSE

The adverb ‘else’ is only a postmodifier. It follows indefinite pronouns. In the English Grammar Profile, A2 point 14 in the category of PRONOUNS: indefinite pronouns with ‘else’ We did a search in iWeb corpus for: _PN1 else 1 SOMEONE ELSE 335976 I would like to choose my sister as a guardian because I can’t imagine someone else. PELIC student: French male level 3 reading …

indefinite pronoun + ELSE Read More »

present perfect simple (unfinished)

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 20 in the category of PAST is defined: present perfect simple: UNFINISHED refer to a state or period of time which is unlimited or indefinite. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I have already gotten several wrong numbers this month. Japanese female level 4 grammar class   EXPERT EXAMPLES: It‘s been proven to me time and time again as people have walked up to me this week  simply because of what I‘m wearing, and we‘ve had great conversations. …

present perfect simple (unfinished) Read More »


Exclamative ‘what’ can precede the indefinite article and is, therefore, a predeterminer.  Here’s an example: What a surprise! Listen In the English Grammar Profile, A2 point 38 in the category of CLAUSES/exclamations: ‘What a’ + noun phrase and ‘What a’ + noun phrase + clause However, in the English Vocabulary Profile, ‘what’ is listed at B1 …

What a + NOUN PHRASE Read More »

SOMETHING | NOBODY + singular verb

Here’s an example of indefinite pronouns as subjects in two clauses with singular verbs: Nobody wants to help when something goes wrong. Point 39 in the category of PRONOUNS/indefinite is defined as: increasing range of indefinite pronouns (‘something’, ‘nobody’) as subjects, with a singular verb. *Remember the inflectional -s at the end of a verb indicates that the verb is the …

SOMETHING | NOBODY + singular verb Read More »

anything (ellipsis)

Here are two examples of indefinite pronouns in ellipted conditional clauses: Anything we can do, anything you need, just tell us. listen Anything you want there, anything at all, just take it. Kings Row (1942) *They mean:  “if there is anything that we can do” or “if there is anything that you want” C1 point 100 in PRONOUNS/indefinite is defined as: ‘anything’ in an ellipted clause.   (‘if there is anything …’) When …

anything (ellipsis) Read More »

Not + everyone | everything | every | all

In the English Grammar Profile, C1 point 26 in the category of NEGATION is defined as: ‘not’ with indefinite pronouns ‘everyone’ and ‘everything’ and determiners ‘every’, ‘all’ For example: Not everyone is always looking for easier. (more context) Besides, not everyone needs a decent education. (more context) PELIC student example: level 3 Portuguese female: Finally, not all things you think to do in this world can turn out in the way you try to do them. …

Not + everyone | everything | every | all Read More »


A search in iWeb corpus for the frequency of indefinite pronouns with the tag: _PN1 1 SOMETHING 7038440 B1  (want + object + infinitive) Are you sure you don’t want something to eat? No, thanks.  I‘m fine. listen 2 ONE 7014912 3 EVERYTHING 3661675 4 SOMEONE 3447852 5 ANYTHING 3347394 6 EVERYONE 3007402 7 NOTHING 2966176 8 ANYONE 2741077 9 NO ONE 863063 (PN121 …

indefinite pronouns: SOMEBODY SOMEONE EVERYBODY EVERYONE Read More »

present continuous + adverbs of indefinite frequency

Let’s look at two expert examples of ‘BE + adverbs of indefinite frequency + VERBing‘   Russia Beyond At the time of application for Russian citizenship, the spouses must be permanently residing in Russia and must be married for three years. 16 Feb 2021 There are a few ways to approach loved ones who are persistently asking the same question.            ( You should know that the most common adverbs of indefinite frequency include: frequently, infrequently, regularly, always, usually, …

present continuous + adverbs of indefinite frequency Read More »

usually | often | never | weekly + (present simple)

There are many points at A2 that are related to adverbs and overlap.  Sadly there is some clash of information between the levels of A1 and A2 though. Point 7 in the category of PRESENT is defined as: present simple WITH ADVERBS OF INDEFINITE FREQUENCY In the example sentences, we find ‘usually’ and ‘always’ used. …

usually | often | never | weekly + (present simple) Read More »


Let’s look at some examples of the indefinite pronoun ‘something’ + adjective phrase.  This relates to “post positioned adjectives” ‘something’ is an indefinite pronoun.  ‘special’ is an adjective. The adjective post-modifies the pronoun.  The adjective makes the pronoun more specific. Well,  how about something special for lunch tomorrow to cheer you up? I‘ll make something special for you. (Watch example sentences) The meaning of ‘something adjective‘ …

ANYTHING | SOMETHING + adjective Read More »