Lesson Twelve

someone and somebody

(indefinite pronouns)



subject object possessive adjective possessive pronoun reflexive pronoun

someone somebody

someone somebody

someone’s somebody’s

someone’s somebody’s


Use "someone" or "somebody" when you don’t know the identity of a person. These pronouns are always used when talking about one person.

subject = someone or somebody

  • Someone is swimming in the pool. Who is it?
  • Somebody cleaned the pool earlier.

We often use "someone" or "somebody" when we don’t know who a person is, or we don’t know who did something.


someone / somebody

object = someone or somebody

  • I asked somebody for directions to the closest metro station.
  • We paid someone to drive us to the airport.


metro station

possessive adjective = someone’s or somebody’s

  • Someone’s artwork won third prize.
  • This is a picture of somebody’s cat.


This is someone’s artwork.

possessive pronoun = someone’s or somebody’s

  • A: Whose goat is that?
  • B: It’s somebody’s, but I don’t know whose.


This is someone’s goat.

reflexive pronoun = 0




There are a few important things to consider when using these pronouns:

1. There’s really no difference between the words "someone" and "somebody."

2. In the present tense, ‘s is often used as a contraction for "is" and "has":

  • Someone’s at the door. (Someone is…)
  • Somebody’s eaten all the pizza. (Somebody has…)

3. When "someone" is an antecedent, many people use "their" or "his" or "her" because there is no gender neutral singular pronoun in English. The easiest thing to do is to use a plural pronoun:

  • Someone left their jacket. (This is not correct grammatically, but everyone does it.)
  • Somebody forgot his coat. (To avoid the problem in the previous example, assign a gender to the person in question. Sometimes you know if it’s a man or a woman.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Aqua Level Exercise 12

write Write these sentences and questions in your notebook. Fill in the blanks with….

someone   someone’s     his  her

1. The police are talking to __________.

2. Is __________ sitting here?

3. __________ dog is in our backyard.

4. __________ singing.

5. One of the customers forgot __________ purse.

6. It’s __________ responsibility to take care of this mess.

7. This must belong to __________.

8. Was ___________ knocking at the door?

9. He’s not happy about __________ grades.

10. __________ been sleeping in my bed.

Next: Lesson Thirteen

Answers: 1. someone; 2. someone; 3. Someone’s; 4. Someone’s; 5. her; 6. someone’s; 7. someone; 8. someone; 9. his; 10. Someone’s