ESL Saigon logo

ESL Saigon


How to use somebody, something, someone, anything, anybody, anywhere, nobody, nothing, and nowhere

Use somebody, something, or someone when you don’t say exactly who, what, or where. (Examples: Somebody is knocking on the door; Something bad has just happened; Somewhere in the world a child is born every second.)

Use anything, anybody, anywhere in questions or with a negative verb. (Examples: Is anybody there?; I didn’t do anything wrong.; I didn’t like anywhere, all the places were dirty.)

Use anything, anybody, anywhere in questions where the speaker expects to get a positive answer. (Examples: Would you like to have something to drink?; Are you going somewhere nice this weekend?; Did I do something wrong?)

Use nobody, nothing, nowhere in short negative answers or in a sentence with a positive verb. (Examples: Who is now Prime Minister in Belgium? Nobody.)

/+/ /?/ and /-/verb /x/ short /-/ answer
people somebody someone anybody anyone nobody no one
things something anything nothing
places somewhere anywhere nowhere
examples Somebody ate my food. I went somewhere very nice. I didn’t do anything last weekend. Is anyone at home? Who’s in the car with Dan? … Nobody. Nobody is in the car.

Note:
Somebody, nobody etc are the same as someone, no one etc. The only distinction being that those with –one are regarded as more formal and the –body ones more informal.
Instead of somewhere, anywhere, nowhere, people often use some place, any place, no place.
No- in nobody, nowhere, and nothing actually means NOT ... ANY ...

Examples:
I saw no one/no body. = I didn’t see any one/any body.
I did nothing. = I didn’t do anything.
I went nowhere yesterday. = I didn’t go anywhere yesterday.


Back to index