Subject-Verb Agreement, Indefinite Pronouns

Jared Aragona

Subject-verb agreement, indefinite pronouns: When an indefinite pronoun serves as the subject of a sentence, you will often use a singular verb form. However, keep in mind that exceptions arise.


-one, -thing, -body, each, either, and all (if it’s collective) are singular:

 No one wants to wait to take the quiz, but everyone wants a good grade.

 Everything about the module on crustaceans reminds Sylvia of lobster rolls.

 Somebody I met last year just contacted my advisor.

 Each bottle of fireflies shines like a little lamp.

 Either will work but neither looks very good.

 All my heart for this test is the best that I can give.



Some indefinite pronouns that define plurality are considered plural, i.e many or all (when not collective):

 All are invited to the award ceremony.

 Many in the class express relief when they hear there is no final exam.


The MLCKRB (Master List Code Key and Rule Book): An English Grammar & Style Handbook by Jared Aragona, CC BY 4.0



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Subject-Verb Agreement, Indefinite Pronouns Copyright © by Jared Aragona is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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