Pronouns - Quynh Huong Center for Foreign Language Translation & Education

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8 Sept 2014


Anybody = Anyone

Is there anybody who can help me? Anybody can use the pool - you don't need to be a member. She wasn't anybody before she got that job.


Used instead of someone in negative sentences and in questions after if/whether, and after verbs such as prevent, forbid, avoid: Is anyone there? Does anyone else want to come? Did anyone see you? Hardly anyone came. I forbid anyone to touch that clock.
Any person at all; it does not matter who: Anybody can see that it's wrong. The exercises are so simple that almost anyone can do them.
(In negative sentences) an important person: She wasn't anyone before she got that job.


Used instead of something in negative sentences and in questions; after if/whether; and after verbs such as prevent, ban, avoid: Would you like anything else? There's never anything worth watching on TV. If you remember anything at all, please let us know. We hope to prevent anything unpleasant from happening.
Any thing at all, when it does not matter which: I'm so hungry. I'll eat anything.
Any thing of importance: Is there anything (= any truth) in these rumours?
  • Anything but: definitely not: The hotel was anything but cheap. It wasn't cheap. Anything but.
  • Anything like sb/sth: (Informal) (used in questions and negative statements) similar to sb/sth: He isn't anything like my first boss.
  • As happy, quick, etc. as anything: (Informal) very happy, quick, etc.: I felt as pleased as anything.
  • Like anything: (BrE, Informal) very much: They're always slogging me off like anything.
  • Not anything like: used to emphasize that sth is not as good, not enough, etc.: The book wasn't anything like as good as her first one.
  • Not for anything: (Informal) definitely not: I wouldn't give it up for anything.
  • Or anything: (Informal) or another thing of a similar type: If you want to call a meeting or anything, just let me know.

Everydody = Everyone

Everybody knows Tom. Have you asked everybody? Didn't you like it? Everybody else did.


Every person: all people: Everyone cheered and clapped. Everyone has a chance to win. Everyone brought their partner to the party. (Formal) Everyone brought his or her partner to the party. The police questioned everyone in the room. The teacher commented on everyone's work. Everyone else was there.


All things: Everything had gone. When we confronted him, he denied everything. Take this bag, and leave everything else to me. She seemed to have everything - looks, money, intelligence.
The situation now; life generally: Everything in the capital is now quiet. "How's everything with you? Fine, thanks."
The most important thing: Money isn't everything. My family means everything to me.
And everything: (Informal) and so on; and other similar things: Have you got his name and address and everything? She told me about the baby and everything.

Nobody = No one

Nobody knew what to say.
Help Note: Nobody is more common than no one in spoken English. (Pl. _ies) a person who has no importance or Influence: She rose from being nobody to become a superstar.

No One

No one (also nobody): (pronoun) not anyone: no person: No one was at home. There was no one else around. We were told to speak to no one.
No one is much more common than nobody in written English.


Not anything, no single thing: There was nothing in her bag. There's nothing you can do to help. The doctor said there was nothing wrong with me. Nothing else matters to him apart from his job. It cost us nothing to go in. (BrE) He's five foot nothing (= exactly five feet tall).
Something that is not at all important or interesting: "What's that in your pocket? Oh, nothing." We did nothing at the weekend.
Be nothing to sb: to be a person for whom sb has no feelings: I used to love her but she's nothing to me any more.
Be / have nothing to do with sb/sth: to have no connection with sb/sth: Get out! It's nothing to do with you (= you have no right to know about it). That has nothing to do with what we're discussing.
For nothing
  • Without payment: She's always trying to get something for nothing.
  • With no reward or result: All that preparation was for nothing because the visit was cancelled.
Have nothing on sb (Informal)
  • To have much less of a particular quality than sb/sth: I'm quite a fast worker, but I've got nothing on her!
  • (Of the police, etc.) to have no Information that could show sb to be guilty of sth.
Not for nothing: for a very good reason: Not for nothing was he called the king of rock and roll.
Nothing but: only; no more / less than: Nothing but a miracle can save her now. I want nothing but the best for my children.
Nothing if not: extremely, very: The trip was nothing if not varied.
Nothing less than: used to emphasize how great or extreme sth is: It was nothing less than a disaster.
Nothing like (Informal)
  • Not at all like: It looks nothing like a horse.
  • Not nearly: not at all: I had nothing like enough time to answer all the questions.
Nothing much: not a great amount of sth; nothing of great value or importance: There's nothing much in the fridge. I got up late and did nothing much all day.
(There's) nothing to it: (it's) very easy: You'll soon learn. There's nothing to it really.
There is / was nothing (else) for it (but to do sth): there is no other action to take except the one mentioned: There was nothing else for it but to resign.
There is / was nothing in sth: something is/was not true: There was a rumour she was going to resign, but there was nothing in it.
There's nothing like sth: used to say that you enjoy sth very much: There's nothing like a brisk walk on a cold day!

Somebody = Someone

Somebody should have told me. She thinks she's really somebody in that car.


A person who is not known or mentioned by name: There's someone at the door. Someone's left their bag behind. It's time for someone new (= a new person) to take over. It couldn't have been me - it must have been someone else (= a different person). Should we call a doctor or someone?
An important person: He was a small-time lawyer keen to be someone.


A thing that is not known or mentioned by name: We stopped for something to eat. Give me something to do. There's something wrong with the TV. There's something about this place that frightens me. Don't just stand there. Do something! His name is Alan something (= I don't know his other name). She's a professor of something or other (= I'm not sure what) at Leeds. He's something in (= has a job connected with) television. The car hit a tree or something. I could just eat a little something.
(Informal) a thing that is thought to be important or worth taking notice of: There's something in (= some truth or some fact or opinion worth considering in) what he says. It's quite something (= a thing that you should feel happy about) to have a job at all these days. "We should finish by tomorrow. That's something (= a good thing), anyway."
(Informal) used to show that a description or an amount, etc. is not exact: She called at something after ten o'clock. A new comedy aimed at thirty - somethings (= people between thirty and forty years old.) It tastes something like melon. They pay six pounds an hour. Something like that. She found herself something of a (= to some degree a) celebrity. The programme's something to do with (= in some way about) the environment. He gave her a wry look, something between amusement and regret.
Make something of yourself: to be successful in life
Something else
  • A different thing, another thing: He said something else that I thought was interesting.
  • (Informal) a person, a thing or an event that is much better than others of a similar type: I've seen some fine players, but she's something else.
  • (Non-standard) used with an adjective to emphasize a statement: She was swearing something terrible.

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