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    #1

    Lightbulb Indefinite pronouns

    Hello, Teacher,

    I am a bit confused about indefinite pronouns. I would like to know if there is any difference in meaning between "-one"(someone, anyone, no one...) and "-body"(somebody, anybody...) pronouns, apart from the fact that the former are considered to be more formal.
    I was told that "-one" pronouns can be a bit more specific and precise and that "-body" pronouns are more "generic," i.e. that we would use someone or anyone if we refer to someone from a known group of people while we would choose somebody or anybody if we want to say that it can be any person in the world, but I am not sure if this explanation is correct.

    Thanks:)

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    #2

    Re: Indefinite pronouns

    In addition, I would like to know if no-one is a correct way of spelling this pronoun (I came across it in some books), beside no one?

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Indefinite pronouns

    I feel no difference in meaning at all between the '-one' and the '-body' words.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 12-Aug-2015 at 12:47. Reason: Fixing typo.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Indefinite pronouns

    I honestly can't tell you that I apply any logic at all in choosing to say "someone/somebody" or "anyone/anybody."
    Let's say someone came up to you on the street ...
    Let's say somebody came up to you on the street...
    Those are both exactly the same.

    I always write "no one."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #5

    Re: Indefinite pronouns

    Meja, click here and you'll see that some dictionaries accept no-one.

    (Bookmark the OneLook site for future reference.)

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    #6

    Re: Indefinite pronouns

    Until I joined this forum, I always used "no-one". The first time I used it in a post here, so many people (native speakers and learners) queried it that I did some research and now use "no one".

    Even though some people accept it, I still don't like "noone" as I always read it as a misspelling of "noon". I note that it is listed as a "non-standard spelling of no-one" in some dictionaries.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: Indefinite pronouns

    Hello emsr2d2,

    I have also come across "noone" a couple of times, but I have seen "no-one" many times in my English books. That's why I concluded that it should be correct, yet I have never seen it used in modern books and while chatting with native speakers, so I thought it may be old-fashioned and no longer in use....

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    #8

    Re: Indefinite pronouns

    In my opinion, "noone" is incorrect. "No-one is possible, but I think "no one" is more common.

    https://books.google.com/ngrams/grap...%20one%3B%2Cc0

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    #9

    Re: Indefinite pronouns

    What about my initial question and my problem with the difference between the "-one" and the "-body" indefinite pronouns? :)

    I used the same method of checking as you, and according to this chart it seems that "-one" pronouns are more often used now than in the past and that they are much more used than their "-body" equivalents.
    https://books.google.com/ngrams/grap...rybody%3B%2Cc0

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    #10

    Re: Indefinite pronouns

    The Ngram demonstrates a difference in usage frequency, but I see no difference in meaning.

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