Unit 7.1

Indefinite Pronouns: Something and Nothing


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Introduction

Pronouns are words used to avoid repetitions of a noun.

Indefinite pronouns do not refer to any specific person, thing or amount.

Something refers to objects with unspecified quantity while nothing refers to absent objects.

Form

Two indefinite pronouns are something and nothing.

Something

Something can be used as the subject or object of a sentence or question. We use it in singular, positive sentences.

The structures are:
Verb/auxiliary verb + something + …
Something + verb/auxiliary verb + …

Nothing

Nothing can be used as the subject or object of a sentence or question. We cannot use it with negative sentences, because it already has a negative meaning.

The structures are:
Verb/auxiliary verb + nothing + …
Nothing + verb + …

Example

  • I need something to clean the microwave.
  • She wants something to eat. 
  • Something smells terrible in the kitchen.
  • Something must have happened to her.
  • There is nothing in the dishwasher.
  • I have nothing left to lose. 
  • Nothing can stop me from winning this race.
  • Nothing seems to scare you off.

Use

We use indefinite pronouns not to refer to any specific person, thing or amount:

  • something expresses an unspecified thing;
  • nothing refers to no single object.

Summary

Indefinite pronouns do not refer to any specific person, thing or amount.

The indefinite pronoun something is used to describe an unspecified thing or an indefinite quantity of things. The indefinite pronoum something is placed before or after a verb or auxiliary verb.

The indefinite pronoun nothing is used to describe no single object. The indefinite pronoun nothing is placed before or after a verb or after an auxiliary verb.

For example:
— “There is something in the fridge.” = Something is used to indicate the existence of an object or objects.
— “There is nothing in the fridge.” = Nothing is used to indicate the absence of any object.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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