• 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.

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Here are examples of exclamatory sentences starting with “What”. They express strong emotions or feelings.
“What” is a predeterminer that precedes the indefinite article “a”.
The phrases following “What a” are noun phrases, often modified by adjectives for emphasis (e.g., “great”, “wonderful”).
Many sentences are followed by adverbial phrases (e.g., “to save time”, “to be alive”) that provide more information about the noun.
These sentences are common in spoken English to convey strong feelings. They’re less common in formal written English but might appear in dialogue or informal writing.
In the English Grammar Profile, such usage of ‘What’ falls under A2 level for expressing strong opinions.
The most common collocates in corpora are words like “great”, “waste”, “idea”, etc., often followed by infinitive phrases or prepositional phrases acting as adverbs.
This structure allows for a wide range of expressions, from surprise (“What a surprise!”) to disappointment (“What a waste of money!”) to admiration (“What a great idea for a party!”). It’s a versatile and expressive part of English grammar.

What a + NOUN PHRASE Read More »

indefinite pronouns (negative context)

The indefinite pronoun “anything” can be used after a negative verb form to express a lack of something. For example, “I don’t have anything to do.” In this sentence, the word “anything” refers to any possible thing that the speaker could do.

The use of “anything” after a negative verb form is first introduced at the A2 level of the CEFR. However, the English Vocabulary Profile lists “anything” at the A1 level, so it is important to be aware of the different ways that this word can be used at different levels.

In my knowledge, you can see that the word “anything” is often used in negative sentences with the verbs “do”, “have”, “know”, “find”, “see”, and “say”. These verbs are all commonly used to express a lack of something.

The search results also show that the word “anything” can be used in other ways, such as in the phrases “it doesn’t mean anything” and “there isn’t anything”. In these cases, the word “anything” is used to refer to something that is not important or significant.

The use of the word “anything” can be a bit tricky, but it is an important part of the English language. By understanding the different ways that this word can be used, you can improve your English grammar and communication skills.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind about the use of the indefinite pronoun “anything”:

“Anything” can be used in both affirmative and negative sentences. For example, “I can do anything” and “I can’t do anything” are both grammatically correct sentences.
“Anything” can be used with a variety of verbs, not just the verbs listed above. For example, you could say “I don’t want anything” or “I didn’t see anything”.
“Anything” can be used in both formal and informal contexts. However, it is more common in informal contexts.

indefinite pronouns (negative context) 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

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nothing | anyone | everywhere

in the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 58 in the category of PRONOUNS is defined as: wide range of indefinite pronouns as objects or complements. For example: You don’t have to show anyone any of these steps. TED There are also English Vocabulary Profile phrases at various levels.  For example: Come on, Scarlett! When you want something,  you stop at nothing to get it.

nothing | anyone | everywhere Read More »

anything (ellipsis)

In the context of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Level C1, Point 100 in the PRONOUNS/indefinite category refers to the use of the word “anything” in an ellipted clause. Specifically, it pertains to the construction where “anything” is used to replace a hypothetical or conditional clause that begins with “if there is anything.”

An ellipted clause is a sentence or phrase in which certain words are omitted but can be understood from the context. In this case, the full conditional clause is not explicitly stated but is implied by the use of “anything.”

For example:

If there is anything you need, let me know. (Full conditional clause)
Anything you need, let me know. (Ellipted clause)
In the ellipted clause, “anything” takes the place of the omitted conditional clause “if there is anything.” It suggests that the person should inform the speaker if there is any specific requirement or request.

This construction allows for more concise and efficient communication by omitting redundant information while conveying the intended meaning.

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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 »

(one of | some of | among ) the + SUPERLATIVE + PLURAL NOUN

The grammar “one | some + of the + SUPERLATIVE + PLURAL NOUN” is used to describe something that is among the best or most extreme of its kind. The word “one” or “some” can be used to indicate that the thing being described is only one of a few, while the word “of” indicates that the thing is part of a larger group. The superlative adjective is used to compare the thing being described to all other things of its kind, and the plural noun indicates that the thing is more than one.

(one of | some of | among ) the + SUPERLATIVE + PLURAL NOUN Read More »


Here are the search results 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

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‘: At the time of application for Russian citizenship, the spouses must be permanently residing in Russia  and must be married for three years.    Russia Beyond – 16 Feb 2021 There are a few ways to approach loved ones  who are persistently asking the same question. The first example above is a modal verb + BE + adverb + present participle and the second

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Adverbs of indefinite frequency, such as ‘sometimes’, ‘occasionally’, ‘usually’, ‘normally’, ‘regularly’, and ‘often’, are commonly used with the present simple tense to indicate routine or repeated activities without specifying exact timing. These adverbs typically precede the main verb but follow the verb ‘to be’ and auxiliary verbs. They can also be positioned at the beginning or end of a sentence in some cases. The webpage provides examples of these usages in various contexts, including TED talks and student writings.

In contrast, definite adverbs of frequency, like ‘yearly’, ‘weekly’, ‘every hour’, and ‘every day’, provide exact frequencies and usually appear at the end of a sentence. The webpage also highlights the overlap and differences in the usage of these adverbs at different language proficiency levels (A1 and A2).

Furthermore, it presents common collocates for the adverb ‘usually’ and examples of sentences using ‘often’. The examples illustrate common behaviors or thought processes, suggesting that these adverbs are integral to expressing frequency in English.



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‘

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