You are on page 1of 3

Sentence Agreement

Indefinite Pronouns

Sentence Agreement
     Introduction Collective Nouns Indefinite Pronouns Walk This Way Agree to Disagree

Indefinite pronouns, like collective nouns, can be singular or plural, depending on how they are used in a sentence. Singular indefinite pronouns take a singular verb; plural indefinite pronouns take a plural verb. Here are some guidelines to follow:    Indefinite pronouns that end in -one are always singular. These words include anyone, everyone, someone, and one. Indefinite pronouns that end in -body are always singular. These words include anybody, somebody, nobody. The indefinite pronouns both, few, many, others, and several are always plural.

You Could Look It Up Indefinite pronouns refer to people, places, objects, or things without pointing to a specific one. See Parts of Speech for a complete description of indefinite pronouns.  The indefinite pronouns all, any, more, most, none, and some can be singular or plural, depending on how they are used. Flag this chart for ready reference.

Indefinite Pronouns Singular Plural Singular or Plural another both all anyone few any each many more everyone others most everybody several none everything some much nobody nothing other someone anybody anything either

8. others. our neighbors across the pond consider the words company and government plural rather than singular nouns. The supply of beta-endorphins in the brain (is/are) increased during exercise. 1. Too many onions in a stew often (causes/cause) an upset stomach. The singular subject all requires the singular verb was. 5. Will Robinson British English follows the same rules of agreement. 4. Will Robinson The indefinite pronoun many a is always singular. Danger. . The plural subject all requires the plural verb were. 9.little neither no one one somebody something Danger. The Pause That Refreshes Circle the correct verb in each sentence.      The plural subject both requires the plural verb are. as in “Many a person is sick and tired of eating sautéed antelope on melba toast. All the sautéed rattlesnake was devoured. News of a layoff (causes/cause) many people to get worried. Millions of Americans watched the high-speed chase and most (was/were) mesmerized by the event. The light at the end of the tunnel (are/is) the headlight of an approaching train.”     Check out these examples: One of the Elvis impersonators is missing. 2. The singular subject one requires the singular verb is. For example. but there are subtle differences in usage. in contrast. One of our satellites (is/are) lost in space. thank goodness. (believes/believe) that TV can teach us important social lessons. All the seats were occupied. The commuters wait at the bus stop. 7. 6. Economics (depends/depend) heavily on mathematics. A few (sleep/sleeps) standing up. 10. Some people believe that TV rots your brain. Both of those cities (were/was) on my vacation route. Both of the Elvis impersonators are missing. 3.

com http://www. is 3. cause Quoth the Maven In many cases. is 9. Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style © 2003 by Laurie E.Answers 1. See Parts of Speech for a review of prepositional phrases. is 10. believe causes 4. were 7. a prepositional phrase intervenes between the subject and the verb. R Read more: Sentence Agreement: Indefinite Pronouns | Infoplease. were 5.infoplease.html#ixzz2koE7647W . depends 2. sleep 8.