6th Grade - Indefinite Pronouns And Different Tenses

Indefinite pronouns and different tenses
Identify and properly use indefinite pronouns and present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect verb tenses; ensure that verbs agree with compound subjects.
Be able to identify and use the following grammatical structures: indefinite pronouns; present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect verb tenses; subject-verb agreement.

Sample Problems


What is a pronoun? (a word that takes the place of a noun or another pronoun)


What is an indefinite pronoun? (refers to persons or things not specifically mentioned. Example: both, all, most, anyone, someone, some, none, no one)


What is a verb? (a word that expresses action, condition, or state of being.)


What is the tense of a verb? (shows the time of an action or condition)


What is present perfect tense? (describes an action in an indefinite past time or an action that began in the past and continues in the present. Uses present form of “to have” plus past participle. Example: I have known Julie for 10 years. She has called me her best friend the whole time.)


What is past perfect tense? (describes one action that happened before another action in the past. Uses past form of “to have” plus past participle. Example: I had known about the surprise party beforehand. Julie had told me about it.)


What is future perfect tense? (describes an event that will be finished before another future action begins. Uses future form of “to have” plus past participle. Example: After next year, I will have taught for a decade. My students will have written hundreds of essays.)


What is the subject of a sentence? (the person, place or thing doing the verb)

What is a compound subject? (more than one person, place, or thing. Example: Dogs and cats both make excellent pets.)


What does it mean that the verb should “agree” with its subject? (it needs to be in the singular for singular subjects and in the plural for compound subjects. Example: A dog is a boy’s best friend [singular]. Dogs and cats are smart [compound: plural verb]).

Learning Tips


An indefinite pronoun refers to a general person, place or thing. The verb that follows such a pronoun used as a subject must agree in number with that indefinite pronoun. Possessive pronouns must also agree with the indefinite pronoun they

follow. The following indefinite pronouns are always singular and refer to only one person, place or thing. They are also followed by singular possessive pronouns.

anyone somebody

everybody everything

nothing someone

anybody something

everyone no one

one another

each neither



Everything is in its place.

Neither of the men was in his car.

Each of the members presents his guest.

The indefinite pronouns both, few and several are always plural and must be used with plural verbs and may be followed by plural possessive pronouns.


Both of the men are in their cars.

All, none and some are indefinite pronouns that may be used with either singular or plural verbs.

Try it:

Everyone must do (his*, their) job the best that (they, he*) can.

A few of your answers (is, are*) not quite right.

Some of the grass (needs*, need) cutting.


Present Perfect Tense

[has/have + past participle]


You have seen that movie many times.

Have you seen that movie many times?

You have not seen that movie many times.

Try it: put the verb in parentheses into present perfect form.

I think I (to meet) have met him once before.

1. There (to be) __________many earthquakes in California. (have been)

2. People (to travel) ___________ to the Moon. (have traveled)

3. Nobody (to climb) ____ ever ________ that mountain. (has… climbed)


Past Perfect Tense

[had + past participle]


He had studied English before he moved to New York.

Had he studied English before he moved to New York?

He had not studied English before he moved to New York.

Try it: put the verb in parentheses into past perfect form.

I did not have any money because I (to lose) had lost my wallet.

1. Tony knew Istanbul so well because he (to visit) ______the city several times. (had visited)

2. She only understood the movie because she _______the book. (had read)

3. Kristine (to be) _____ never _______ to an opera before last night. (had… been)


Future Perfect Tense

[will have + past participle]


You will have perfected your verb tenses by 3:00.

Will you have perfected your verb tenses by 3:00?

You will not have perfected your verb tenses by 3:00.

Try it: put the verb in parentheses into future perfect form.

By next November, I (to receive) will have received my promotion.

1. By the time he gets home, she (to clean)_________________ the entire house. (will have cleaned)

2. _______she (to learn) _____________enough Chinese to communicate before she moves to Beijing? (will have learned)

3. By the time I finish this course, I ___________________ten tests. (will have taken)


When the subject of a sentence is composed of two or more nouns or pronouns connected by and, use a plural verb.

Try it!

  1. Annie and her brothers (is, are*) at school.

  2. George and Tamara (doesn't, don't*) want to see that movie.

  3. The movie, including all the previews, (take, takes*) about two hours to watch.

Extra Help Problems


What are these? (indefinite pronouns)








  [no one]







Write a sentence using each of the indefinite pronouns.


Fill in the gaps with somebody, anybody, nobody, something, anything, nothing, somewhere, anywhere or nowhere.

  1.  I know __________ about this issue that you may find interesting, but if I tell you, you must promise to keep it (a) secret.


 2.  __________ lives here. There is no water.


3.  I spent the night __________ near the beach.


4.  __________ could have jumped over this wall, and stole your rake. It's very low.


  5.  __________ scares him. He's very brave.


6.  There is __________ to park here. Let's go __________ else to park.


7.  Would you like __________ to wash your hands?.


  8.  May I have __________ for dessert, please?

  1. They took him __________ in London, and he never returned.


10.  Please don't leave __________ behind at home. We'll be away for a week.


Name the verb tense.

Have you been running?

Has Tom been walking the dog?

How long have you been learning English?


Name the verb tense.

They will have graduated from from Cambridge by July 2009.

I will have retired by the end of the year.

I read 40 pages a day. If I keep up the pace, I will have read the book by Tuesday.


Name the verb tense.

My mom asked me whether I had visited grandma the previous day.

By the time I got to the mall, most of the stores had already closed.

I wish I had taken more food with me.


Here is a sentence with a single subject.

At the local Dairy Queen, Marsha gasped at the sight of pickle slices on her banana split


Write the same sentence with two subjects.


Write the same sentence with three subjects.


Write the same sentence with five subjects.


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