French Indefinite Pronouns

All the French Indefinite Pronouns take the third person (il form) of the verb in French as in English.

The forms of the pronouns are also the third person.

Chacun doit s’asseoir à sa propre place – Everybody must sit down in his or her own place

French Indefinite Pronouns used only as pronoun

Chacun/chacune – each one, everybody

Chacun doit prendre une feuille de papier – Everybody must take a sheet of paper

Je ne sais quoi – something or other

Elle a dit je ne sais quoi de complètement stupide – She said something or other completely stupid

N’importe qui – anyone (at all)

N’importe qui te dira – Anyone at all will tell you that
Ne le dis pas à n’importe quiDon’t tell just anyone

On – one, you, we, they, someone, people in general

On nous regarde – Somebody’s looking at us
Qu’est ce qu’on va faire – What are we going to do?

On is a very commonly used term, and a pronoun heard all the time in French conversation

Personne – nobody, not anybody

Qui est là? PersonneWho’s there? Nobody
Je n’y vois personneI can’t see anyone there

Je sais qu’il n’y a personne à la maison car personne n’a répondu
- I know there is nobody at home because nobody answered the phone

In the French Indefinite Pronouns, Personne must have a ne with an associate verb, as in the second example above

Quelque chose – something, anything

Tu as vu quelque chose? – Did you see anything?
Oui il y a quelque chose qui bouge – Yes there’s something moving

In the rules of French Indefinite Pronouns, any adjective with quelque chose follows it, is masculine, and is preceded by de

Ca doit être quelque chose d’horrible! – It must be something horrible

The other chose compounds behave similarly

Autre choseSomething else
Peu de choseLittle
Pas grand chose Not much

Il y a autre chose que le travail dans la vie - There is something else than work in life

Quelqu’un – someone, anybody

Il y quelqu’un dans la grange – There’s someone in the barn
Est ce que tu entends quelqu’un? – Can you hear anybody?
Il vit avec quelqu’un depuis trois ans – He’s been living with somebody for three years
Ces dames là? Oui, j’en connais quelques-unes Those ladies? Yes I know some of them
Je cherche quelqu’un de beau – I’m looking for someone handsome

Quiconque – whoever, anybody

Quiconque dit cela, ment! – Whoever says that is lying
Il joue mieux que quiconqueHe plays better than anybody

Rien – nothing, not anything

Tu entends quelque chose? Non, rienCan you hear anything? No, nothing
Je n’entends absolument rienI can hear absolutely nothing

L’un/l’une – (the) one

J’ai rencontré l’un deux en ville – I met one of them in town
L’une chante, l’autre pas – One sings, the other doesn’t
Ils se détestent l’un l’autre They hate one another

French Indefinite Pronouns used as both pronouns and adjectives

Aucun/aucune – none, not any

Tu as entendu ses disques? Non, aucunYou’ve heard his records? No, none of them
Il n’y en a aucun He hasn’t any

Certains/certaines – some (people)

Certains ont dit qu’il a volé l’argent – Some people said he stole the money
Certaines d’entre elles ont très bien parlées – Some of them spoke very well
J’en connais certainsI know some of them

Plusieurs – several (people)

Plusieurs sont venus sans savoir pourquoi – Several came without knowing why
Il en a tué plusieurs He killed several (of them)
Il y en a plusieurs de verts – There are several green ones

Tous/toutes – everybody, all

Je vous connais tous I know you all
Elles sont toutes là – They are all there
Tous sont venus à la réunion – All of them came to the meeting

Tout – everything, all

Tout est arrangé – All is arranged
J’ai tout fait – I’ve done everything

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