Silverturtle I need your help

<p>Hello Silverturtle </p>

<p>I am currently trying to understand NOT memorise indefinite pronouns. I dont quite understand what makes a pronoun indefinite, could you please help me with this and could you illustrate what you are saying with an EXAMPLE?? Is they an indefinite pronoun? </p>

<p>I just want to be able to go into the SAT test and be able to identify the indefinite pronoun without having to memorise some stupid list which I will forget in 3 months time.</p>

<p>Also could you please explain what negative adverbials are and inversions please. Could you please explain with an example too</p>

<p>Thanks in advance</p>

<p>When "they" refers to people in general it's an indefinite pronoun. In spoken "informal" English this usage is common and acceptable. In formal written English this usage is best avoided.</p>

<p>Consider: "They say that daily exercise is important for good health." The intent is to note something which is conventional wisdom.</p>

<p>I don't recall seeing the usage of "they" as an indefinite pronoun tested on the SAT. If it were to appear, as in the above example, I would mark it as an error.</p>

<p>The list of indefinite pronouns is not that long. You'll find it worthwhile to write a handful of sentences using them.</p>

I get your point about 'they' referring to people in general but it is not crystal clear to me yet. If I had no brain and new nothing about indefinite pronouns how would I be able to identify an indefinite pronoun.</p>

<p>For example, If I said Anyone who walks through the park is a dead man. How do I know anyone is an indefnite pronoun?
Another example: Jack is a good boy; he likes to play golf.
Is 'he' an indefinite pronoun</p>

<p>Thanks fogcity for your patience</p>

<p>Start with your second example:</p>

<p>Jack is a good boy; he likes to play golf.</p>

<p>Is 'he' an indefinite pronoun. No. "He" clearly refers to Jack. Whenever the pronoun refers to a specific person, thing, group, etc. it's a definite pronoun. "He" refers to a specific person, Jack. Jack is the antecedent of "he".</p>

<p>Most pronouns in a typical news article, letter, book, etc. refer to a definite person, thing, group, etc.</p>

<p>Indefinite pronouns do not refer to someone or something specific. They don't have an antecedent.</p>

<p>"Anyone can play today." So who does "anyone" refer to? Actually no one in particular. You, or I, or Jack.</p>

<p>We can continue to use words to "define" definite versus indefinite. You really need examples of your own making to make this clear. Pick up a newspaper and read an article or two. Underline the pronouns.</p>

<p>Thanks a lot!</p>

<p>This will not show up on the SAT, but I'll give a really simple answer in the off chance that it can help you understand the topic better.</p>

<p>I take it you are familiar with the difference between "a" and "the." "The concert" is distinct in meaning from "a concert" because in the former case, the concert in question is defined-- it is a specific concert. In the latter case, it could be any concert-- it isn't* defined.*</p>

<p>This is the difference between definite and indefinite articles. When you make the two nouns, "a concert" and "the concert," into pronouns, you lose their respective articles. Both become "it." However, from context, you can often derive what type of article you would use in front of the noun form of a pronoun. This is the simplest way to tell the difference in the singular case. </p>

<p>For example:</p>

<p>It was a good concert. --> The/*A* concert was a good concert.</p>

<p>Almost certainly, the correct choice is the. The pronoun is definite. </p>

<p>Additionally, in the singular case, it is very hard to find instances of indefinite pronouns. But the concept is well illustrated anyway, and once you understand the difference between definiteness and indefiniteness, it should make intuitive sense in the plural case.</p>

<p>However, if you need a 'test' for plural pronouns, let's come up with one. Compare:</p>

<p>"You know what they say: love is blind." with
"They told you not to do that." </p>

<p>In the latter case, you can replace "they" with "the teachers" or "the parents" or whatever. In the former case, you can't really assign an article to whatever "they" is implied. "You know what the people say: love is blind," could make sense. However, it is clumsy compared to "what people say," dropping the article. Hence, we expand the test to plural pronouns. If no article is less awkward than a definite article, then the pronoun is indefinite.</p>

<p>thanks a lot!</p>