• 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. A2 point 14 in the category of PRONOUNS: indefinite pronouns with ‘else’ A search in iWeb 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 French male level 3 reading class. 2 ANYTHING ELSE 267806 3 ANYONE ELSE …

indefinite pronoun + ELSE Read More »

present perfect simple (unfinished)

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. This is too hard to locate automatically without overlapping other points in the EGP. EXPERT EXAMPLE: I love calling COVID Rona as if this is a person that has crashed our good time over the last year.


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 »

indefinite pronouns (negative context)

In the English Grammar Profile, there are a few grammar points that overlap and clash across CEFR levels A2, B1. In regards to the use of the indefinite pronoun: ‘anything.‘  To make things worse, ‘anything‘ is listed at A1 in the English Vocabulary Profile with an A1 student example:  … I can’t say anything. A2 point …

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 …

SOMETHING | NOBODY + singular verb Read More »

nothing | anyone | everywhere

Point 58 in the category of PRONOUNS is defined as: wide range of indefinite pronouns as objects or complements. A search in iWeb for: _VV nothing|anyone|everywhere 1 KNOW NOTHING 29235 2 THINK ANYONE 22892 3 SAY NOTHING 17229 4 KNOW ANYONE 16116 5 TELL ANYONE 15737 6 KNEW NOTHING 14617 7 LET ANYONE 14570 TLC …

nothing | anyone | everywhere Read More »

ANYTHING + post-modifier

Point 104 in the category of PRONOUNS/indefinite is defined: ‘anything’ with post-modifiers to form complex noun phrases as subjects with a singular verb, to give focus. . Anything _RR * * 1 . ANYTHING ELSE IS JUST 243 2 . ANYTHING ELSE IS A 233 3 . ANYTHING ELSE WOULD BE 170 4 . ANYTHING …

ANYTHING + post-modifier 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 »


Here’s a student example of the indefinite pronoun ‘everyone’ in the subject position with a singular verb: Everyone knows Istanbul. PELIC Turkish male level 3 writing class. The indefinite pronouns: ‘SOMEBODY’, ‘SOMEONE’, ‘EVERYBODY’ and ‘EVERYONE’ are all listed at A2 in the English Vocabulary Profile.  As far as CEFR level allocation, it doesn’t make any difference …

indefinite pronouns: SOMEBODY SOMEONE EVERYBODY EVERYONE Read More »

indefinite pronoun + relative clause (focus)

Point 79 in the category of PRONOUNS is defined as: indefinite pronouns with a relative clause to form complex noun phrases, to give focus A search in iWeb corpus for : . _pn1 that|which|who * * Embedded examples come from the PELIC: 1 . ANYONE WHO WANTS TO 1201 B2/C1 student: 19668,du4,Korean,Unknown,389,5,r,2663,1,41, Anyone who wants …

indefinite pronoun + relative clause (focus) 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 »

‘nothing wrong’ (indefinite pronoun + adjective | clause)

Let’s look at what intermediate students can do with indefinite pronouns and adjectives. Point 44 in ADJECTIVES/position is defined as: adjective or adjective phrase after pronouns like ‘something’, ‘nothing’, ‘somewhere’, ‘nowhere’ Point 29 in NOUNs is defined as: phrases with an indefinite pronoun + adjective or clause. We have crossed out ‘something’ because it has …

‘nothing wrong’ (indefinite pronoun + adjective | clause) 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 »