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Concourse 2

Indefinite or impersonal pronouns


This guide deals with pronouns other than the personal pronouns (i.e., I, me, him, her, yourself, your etc.) or pronouns identifying a specific noun (it, they etc.).
In that sense only, we are talking about impersonal or indefinite pronouns, although the terms are horribly inexact because these pronouns often refer to people and in the case of some categories, to particular individuals or things.
For the sake of conciseness and clarity, we'll also use the term indefinite pronouns because these pronouns do not refer to particular people or things in the way that you, me, it, they, them, ourselves etc. do.
In summary, these pronouns are either impersonal or indefinite (and sometimes both).
There is a separate guide to personal pronouns on this site (linked in the list at the end).



Apart from the three forms of personal pronouns (personal: I, me, you, they etc., reflexive: myself, themselves, ourselves etc. and genitive / possessive: my, your, his, mine, their etc.), there are a few main classes of pronouns and this guide will take them one at a time.
Indefinite pronouns form a large and heterogeneous class of function words.  You can work through this guide sequentially or, if you are looking for something in particular, use this menu.
Clicking on -top- at the end of each section will bring you back to this menu.

Pronoun or determiner? Relative pronouns Interrogative pronouns Demonstrative pronouns
Universal and distributive pronouns  Concord issues 1 Multal and paucal pronouns  Reciprocal pronouns
The some- and any- series Negative pronouns Concord issues 2 One and they
Several, a lot and enough Summary diagram Pronunciation Teaching issues


Is it a pronoun or determiner?

Because most of the words analysed in the guide can act as pronouns or determiners, it's worth pausing to explain the difference.

Determiners come before nouns, noun phrases or pronouns and often have an alternative of or of the construction:
Both parents are here
Both of the children are here
Neither of them want to be here
Which of the books do you want?
Those of us who don't want to see the film will go and eat
I want that book
She hates all music
Pronouns proper replace the noun to which they refer and do not have the alternative of constructions.  Some pronouns, especially which and that can stand for entire clauses.  They can stand as the subject or object of a verb or the complement of a verb:
Both have arrived
Neither is useful
Which do you want?
Those are nice
That was interesting
I enjoyed those
I gave everything away
All is lost

Determiners and pronouns are closely related word classes with many items acting in both roles.
In some analyses, no distinction is made between the word classes and both are subsumed into the class of determiner-pronoun.  By that analysis, the use of an item as a pronoun is assumed to be the use as a determiner with an ellipted noun phrase or clause.
We do not follow that analysis on this site because, for teaching purposes, it seems conceptually clearer to distinguish between the word classes.
Here's the list:

Determiners or pronouns:
demonstratives: this, that, these, those, the former ... the latter
determiner use pronoun use This and that may be used with count and mass concepts but these and those are confined to count concepts.
To this list, some would add (the) one ... the other as in, e.g.:
We must use (the) one solution or the other
I want that book I want that
Let me have those tomatoes No, not those, these
He gave me this PC She sold me this
The former solution is the best I prefer the latter
some and any
determiner use pronoun use Both can be used for mass and count concepts.
The some-series is reserved for assertive uses usually and the any-series for non-assertive uses.
For more on this, see the guide to assertion and non-assertion linked in the list of related guides at the end.
I'd like some coffee I'd like some
I don't have any money I don't have any
many and much
determiner use pronoun use many can occur in assertive and non-assertive sense.
much is generally confined to non-assertive negative or question structures.
Many is confined to count concepts; much to mass concepts.
We don't have many friends We have many at home
There's isn't much butter I can't see much
enough, a lot of, several
determiner use pronoun use enough and a lot of can be used assertively or non-assertively and for mass or count concepts.
several is confined usually to assertive uses and with count concepts only.
We have enough sugar We have read enough
They have a lot of space We don't have a lot
They have several books with them I have several
few, fewer, fewest, a few and little, less, least, a little
determiner use pronoun use Traditionally, and prescriptively, few, fewer, fewest, a few are confined to count concepts and
little, less, least, a little are confined to mass concepts but there are exceptions in use and the distinction is sometimes slightly fuzzy:
There are fewer people here
There are less people here than I expected
We have the fewest data
We have the least data
would all be acceptable according to circumstance, setting and level of formality.
Less is used for time and amounts:
Less than three years
Less than $40
There are few things he likes He sold few
We have fewer complaints The fewest we need is six
There are a few things to say I brought a few
There is little beer in the fridge They sold little
People have less money these days Take less, please
I have the least luggage She wants least
We have a little time I'll only take a little
more and most
determiner use pronoun use When most is a pronoun it is often indistinguishable from its use as a determiner but with an omitted noun.
See the note below.
Both can be used for mass or count concepts.
Have more cake Have more
She spent most days in bed She wasted most
either and neither
determiner use pronoun use The pronoun use of these two words is unusual and often slightly formal.
Both are used with mass and count concepts.
Take either book Can I have either?
Take neither book You can have neither
determiner use pronoun use The pronoun use is unusual and formal.
The word can denote dual or plural, never singular, and only for count concepts.
The allied distributive determiner every has no equivalent pronoun form (see below).
Each child got a present They gave a present to each
all, both, half
(pre-) determiner use pronoun use As a pronoun all is unusual.
All and half may be used for mass or count concepts but both is reserved for count concepts.
All and both can be determiners or pre-determiners.  Half is only a pre-determiner so we allow:
All enquiries are welcome and All the questions were hard
Both children got lost
and Both the parents were anxious
Half the class was late
but not *Half class was late
Take all the food Winner takes all
Can I have both cases? Take both
Give me half the money Give me half
determiner use pronoun use The use of numerals as pronouns is debatable because it is almost always possible to recover a unique noun which has been ellipted.
I want six beers Bring me seven
Only determiners: no and every
determiner use pronoun use The pronoun for no is none (which cannot function as a determiner).
The pronoun for every is everyone, -body, -thing (and none can act as a determiner).
No may be used with mass and count nouns but every is confined to plural count nouns (three or more, not two).
She has no money *She has no
Every child got a present *The gave a present to every
Only pronouns: none, some-, any- and no-series, every-series, others
determiner use pronoun use See above for the relationship between no and none.
None and the some-, any- and no-series are not restricted but the every-series and others are restricted to count concepts.
The determiner equivalents of the -thing, -one, -body series are the bare some, any and every items:
Some people
Any guest
Every CD

other is a determiner equivalent of others:
Other people
*I took none books I took none
*Somebody people called Somebody called
*Does anyone child need lunch? Does anyone want this?
*She stole everything CDs She stole everything
*They arrived with others people They arrived with others

It is not always a simple matter to identify whether words are acting as pronouns per se or simply that the noun phrase which they determine has been ellipted.
In spoken discourse, the latter is often the case as in, for example:
    Would you like some cake?
    No, thanks, I don't want any
    I asked for three keys but they only sent two (keys)
where the noun is ellipted and any and two retain their determiner status.
At other times, it is clear that the item is acting as a pronoun in its own right although the noun is not easily recoverable from the context and could be a wide range of possible phrases. For example:
    We have done enough? (work?, damage?, business? etc.)

If you would like a slightly abbreviated version of this list as a PDF document, click here.

In some analyses, the pronouns one and ones are considered the pronoun equivalent of indefinite articles or the determiner some as in, for example:
    Do you want a biscuit?
    Yes, I'll have one
    Do you want some biscuits?
    Yes, the chocolate ones, please



Relative pronouns

This group includes the wh- series (who, which etc.), that and the zero pronoun.  For more, see the guide to relative pronoun clauses, linked in the list at the end, where each pronoun is covered.  Five examples will be enough here:

  1. The car which had the accident is in the workshop
    which refers back, anaphorically, to the car as all relative pronouns refer back to their antecedent nouns.
  2. The man whose wallet you found is coming to collect it
    a possessive relative pronoun which cannot be omitted.
    (In some analyses, this is not really a pronoun use because the word whose does not stand for a noun.  We cannot say, therefore:
        *The man's whose wallet you found
    As an interrogative pronoun (see below) this restriction does not apply.)
  3. The man [Ø] acting the fool is my brother
    a reduced relative clause with the pronoun and the verb be omitted.  The full form would be
        The man who is acting the fool.
    There is a good argument here that this is not a relative clause at all but an example of a participle clause post-modifying the noun.
  4. The person [Ø] we want is on holiday today
    with the relative pronoun, who(m) omitted as is allowed when it stands for the object of the verb in a defining relative clause.
  5. That's the car that he sold
    with that as the relative pronoun in a defining relative clause, usually informally.



Interrogative pronouns

These look exactly the same as the wh- relative pronouns but perform a different function.  The clue's in the name.
One addition to the list is what which is only colloquially (illiterately, if you prefer) used as a relative pronoun (The man what I saw).
The category is quite simple so a few examples will be enough.

  1. Who came to the meeting? (pronoun usually for people only)
  2. Which is yours? (pronoun for objects, used when faced with a selection)
  3. What do you think? (pronoun in the same meaning as which but used when there is no or a nearly infinite selection)
  4. Whose is this? (possessive interrogative pronoun)
  5. Whom did you see? (object case pronoun becoming ever rarer and replaced by who)

Which, whose and what also act commonly as determiners (which computer, what house, whose car) but still in interrogative sentences in this case.

The distinction between which and what is often explained by stating that which applies to a limited choice:
    Which pub are we going to?
and what applies when the choice is open ended:
    What do you want to do tonight?
The system is, however, somewhat idiomatic and what may serve both functions so we also hear:
    What sex is the baby?
when it is clear that the choice is not open ended.



Demonstrative pronouns

This is a closed class traditionally containing only this, that, these and those (in the usual analysis, with which, see below, there are problems).
They are distinguished by number and by whether they refer to something near or far.  In Old English, the demonstrative pronouns were not distinguishable from the definite article.  Nowadays, articles function as determiners only, not pronouns, and the pronoun role is taken by these four words.
Old English, in common with a range of modern languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Georgian, Basque, Korean and Japanese had a third, medial, distinction which means the languages can refer to objects near the speaker, objects near the hearer and objects far from both the speaker and the hearer.
English can do this but requires a periphrastic form to make the distinction clear so we have:
    take this (proximal and near the speaker and hearer probably)
    use that (medial and far from the speaker but possibly close to the hearer)
    pass me that over there (distal and far from both speaker and hearer)
The distinction still exists in the old fashioned determiner and adverb yonder and in the dialect determiner yon which can also function as a distal pronoun in, e.g.:
    What do you like about yon?

There are a number of uses:

cohesive devices
The pronouns are used to make text cohere and point to what is to follow (cataphoric reference) or what precedes (anaphoric reference).  For example:
    This is what I mean ... →
    ← ... and that is the reason I'm late
    I want to suggest these. →
    ← ... so those are my reasons for not voting
The demonstrative pronouns this and these can be used to refer forward (cataphorically) and back (anaphorically) but that and those can only refer anaphorically, i.e. to a subsequent not a previous item.
In this role, the pronouns can substitute for a variety of phrase types and clauses but there are some restrictions.
The pronouns this and that can substitute for a noun phrase, a prepositional phrase or a verb phrase:
    He wanted the book on Venezuela but that I couldn't find
    I have only $5 with me but this I will happily lend you
    She opened a restaurant on the corner and that was a bad position
    You can put it in the middle and this is a good place for it
    They wanted me to help them but that I couldn't do
    He has arrived too early and this is awkward for the host

The pronouns these and those can only usually stand for noun phrases but it is possible to have plural prepositional phrases as in, for example
    They opened shops in the town centre and by the station but these were bad choices
Verb phrases are conceived as singular so:
    *I have done the gardening and fixed the car and these / those were hard work
is very questionable if not wrong and most would prefer
    I have done the gardening and fixed the car and that / this was hard work
You may find what are here called cohesive devices referred to as discourse markers.  Properly used, the second term refers to how speakers manage spoken interaction so we will stick with cohesive device and avoid the term discourse maker altogether.
All four of the common demonstrative pronouns also have a determiner function in, for example:
    Those people who don't come to the meeting will be able to vote by post
    That car is not mine
    These people are ready
    This car is mine
In their determiner role, all four can also refer to clauses as in:
    That which I dislike most is people being unnecessarily rude
    Those whom we have invited will be here soon
    This which I have often forgotten is the part you need
    These which I have kept for you are the best

but the use is somewhat formal and stilted.  In the cleft sentence form (the first example with that which) the preferred option is normally what.
pointing (deictic function)
This is the most familiar use.  For example:
    This is my boss, Mary
are the people I wanted you to meet
    Those are my roommates
    That is her husband
These words can only be used for impersonal objects of verbs unless they are followed by a noun such as person and are functioning as determiners:
    I will use that key to open the door
    I will use that to open the door
    We will elect that person as our representative
    *We will elect that as our representative
    We want these people thrown out
    *We want these thrown out
pronoun reference
It is often difficult to distinguish this from the determiner use:
    I want that (pronoun)
    I want that book (determiner)
    She selected those (pronoun)
    I think this coat would suit me (determiner)
    I think this would suit me (pronoun)
With the pronouns, it is optional to use one(s), as in I want those ones.  If one(s) is included, the words act more as determiners of another pronoun.
As pronouns, the uses are slightly more restricted than they are when the words are determiners.  All four can be used as pronouns to refer to both people and things in positive and negative sentences so we allow:
    Those are my books
    These are the men you asked to see
    That isn't the manager who was here before
    This isn't the child I told you about

but in questions, while we accept:
    Who is that?
    Who is this?

we do not usually accept:
    *Who are those?
    *Who are these?
other demonstrative pronouns
While it is traditional to limit demonstrative pronouns to this, that, these and those, two other pronouns act in a very similar way but come in pairs:
  • the former and the latter, for example:
        Both John and Mary went to live abroad; the former in America, the latter in France
  • (the) one and the other
        There is a clear potential benefit and a drawback.  We must try to take advantage of (the) one while minimising the danger of the other
The word one can appear without its determining article but other cannot so while we can accept:
    We must have one or the other
    We must have the one or the other
we cannot allow:
    *We must have one or other.
Both the former and the latter can substitute for noun phrases (as the examples above), verb phrases and prepositional phrases.
  • I have cut the grass and washed the car.  The former took longer but the latter needed doing more badly
  • I tried hanging it in the hall and in the living room.  The former looked OK but the latter was much better
Both the former and the latter can also appear without the other.  So we can have, e.g.:
  • I have cut the grass and washed the car.  The former took longer
  • I tried hanging it in the hall and in the living room.  The latter was much better
The one and the other are more rarely used for anything except noun-phrase substitution but with the insertion of the do operator, we can use them to refer to verb phrases so, we can have:
    You must study harder or give up university altogether.  Do one or (do) the other.
and the definite article is always dropped on the first item in this case but not the second, perversely.
One and the other do not act as substitutions for prepositional phrases and cannot appear separately.  We cannot, therefore have:
    *I have finished the essay and the plan.  One was more difficult.
    *I kept the oil in the dark instead of in the light this year.  One was better than the other.
These are, functionally, demonstrative pronouns and can be taught that way.



Universal and distributive pronouns

These are: everyone, everybody, each, everything, all, either, both.  They fall into four categories:

personal and impersonal
everyone and everybody can only be used for people.  The others can be used for people and objects.
These two pronouns can also take the genitive 's as in:
    everyone's problem
    everybody's nightmare
count and mass
Only all is used for mass nouns.  We can have all (the) sugar and all (the) potatoes but we cannot have *every sugar, *each sugar etc.
The genitive form is not possible with all.
singular and plural
Again, only all can be used for plurals.  We can have
    All are broken
but not
    *Everyone are rude
every, either, each and all also act frequently as determiners rather than pronouns proper.  For example:
Every guest received a written invitation
Each guest received a written invitation
All guests received a written invitation
Either room will be OK
When they are pronouns, these forms function distributively.
each, either and all act as pronouns in this case, albeit slightly formally:
Three people came and I gave each a pen and a piece of paper
Twenty people arrived and all found a seat
She showed me two houses but I didn't like either
every cannot act alone as a pronoun.  It must be combined with -thing or -one to do that.  Its sole use is as a distributive determiner, therefore.  (But some and any can act as both pronouns and determiners [see below].)

Unusually in English, along with the determiner or pronoun both, each and either can be used as a dual determiner or pronoun but the every- series and all are only plural and only used for three or more nouns (not two) so, for example, we allow all of these:
    The two children were well behaved so I gave each a reward
    Did you give either a reward?
    The three children were well behaved so I gave each a reward
    The three children were well behaved so I gave everyone a reward

    The three children were well behaved so I gave all a reward
but not:
    *The two children were well behaved so I gave all a reward
    *The two children were well behaved so I gave everyone a reward

The other important distinction between each and everyone / everybody acting as pronouns is that each is restrictive and refers only to people in a particular context but everyone / everybody is unrestricted.  For example:
    *The teacher went into the classroom and gave a task to each
is not allowed because we have not identified the members of the class in context.  We do, however, allow:
    The teacher went into the classroom and gave a task to everyone
We can allow:
    The teacher selected the five best students and gave each a prize
because we have identified the object pronoun.
When the words operate as determiners, no such restriction applies so we allow both:
    The teacher gave each child a task
    The teacher gave every child a task


Concord issues

Both each and every can take plural and singular possessive determiners and the plural form, for reasons of social correctness, is becoming the norm so we allow:
    Each man must wear his badge
    Every girl will get her own costume
but no longer do we allow:
    Each student will have his interview
    Everyone has his own opinion
when the sex of the people is not known.
The his or her formulation is clumsy and many writers will choose to pluralise the sentence to avoid the issue so, e.g.:
    Each guest will have their place marker
    Every guest will have his or her place marker
may be rephrased more felicitously as:
    All guests will have their own place markers.
However, the use of a plural determiner for a singular object or subject has a long history in English.

It is more difficult to avoid the superficially ungrammatical pronoun or possessive concord with everyone / everybody because the pronoun is singular by default.  For example:
    Everyone is here
    *Everyone are here
So, we get:
    Everyone has their own opinion
    Everybody I spoke has said they enjoyed their meal
as the normal formulations.

It is worth remembering that some languages are more logical with respect to the use of the verb form with an equivalent of everyone because it is, by its nature, a pronoun which refers to a plural entity and should take a plural verb form.
These languages include Spanish, Italian, Basque, Greek, Serbian, Icelandic and others but not French, Romanian, Catalan, Portuguese, German and Dutch in which a singular verb form is preferred.


multal paucal

Multal and paucal pronouns

You will not be alone if you have not heard these terms (they defeat most spell checkers) but they are the usual ones used for two sets of pronouns.
This group consists of:
Multal pronouns: many, more, much, most
Paucal pronouns: few, fewer, fewest, little, less, least
There is only one fundamental distinction with all of them: mass vs. count use.

many, more, most and few, fewer, fewest are used for count nouns:
If we are talking, e.g., about friends we can say:
    He doesn't have many but she has more and most are in London
    They have few but she even fewer; the fewest of anyone I know
more, much, most and little, less, least are used for mass nouns:
Speaking, e.g., of time, we might have:
    We don't have much, but more in the winter and most in the autumn
    We have a little, and less every day but they have the least


  1. The distinction between a little and little and between a few and few is that the structures with a imply enough and the structures without a imply an inadequate amount.  This is simplest to exemplify when the words are determiners:
        I have little interest and few opportunities to go
        She has a few friends and takes a little interest in their welfare
    but the rule applies to the pronoun use, too:
        They have little but they are generous
        We have few but you are welcome to some
        We have a little so take what you need
        We have a few but they will do for us
  2. Only real pedants will insist on not using less for count nouns as in, e.g.
        She has been to many countries but less than me
    and, in fact, the use of less is routine for measurements, amounts of money and times
        two years or less
        10 feet or less
        €5 or less
    However, the uses of few and fewest for count nouns only are still common, particularly in written and more formal language so, e.g.:
        She has been to many countries but fewer than me
    is frequently preferred and supermarkets in England have been bullied into replacing till signs declaring:
        Six items or less
        Six items or fewer
    The words little and least are not used so easily for count nouns so:
        *We need more computers but can afford little
    is unacceptable and
        ?We need chairs for all the students but that room contains the least
    is questionable at best.



Reciprocal pronouns

This is a small group consisting of just two multi-word pronouns.  Strictly speaking, these are personal pronouns but the usual analysis is to include them, for the sake of simplicity, in the area of indefinite pronouns.

each other
E.g., They really dislike each other
one another
E.g., They were all talking to one another about the play

The clue to the function of these two lies in the name: they are used when two or more nouns are doing the same thing and doing it reciprocally.

Generally, one another is slightly more formal and less common.  There are those who will insist that one another may only be used to represent more than two nouns but that is not a sustainable position although sentences such as
    John and Mary were talking to one another
sound odd to many people.
Using each other is a safe bet in all circumstances.


some any

The some- and any- series

The usual distinction here is to assert that the some- series is used in positive statements (that is to say, assertive uses) and the any- series in negatives and interrogatives (or non-assertive uses), so we get, e.g.:
    Somebody told him
    Has anybody arrived yet?
    I don't want anything to eat

As with the other pronouns, the main distinction is that somebody, someone, anybody, anyone are reserved for people and something, anything are reserved for inanimate entities.
There are, however, a few issues:

  1. We need to distinguish by function not grammar.  An offer is not a question so there is a difference between:
        Do you want anything to eat?  (Are you hungry?)
        Would you like something to eat?  (I'm offering some food.)
  2. Similarly, the speaker's understanding is important.  There is a difference between:
        Has somebody sent you a letter?
        Has anybody sent you a letter?
    In the first, the speaker may either have a person in mind or may be sure that a letter has arrived.  The second implies neither of those.
  3. Negatives are not only achieved with the use of not:
        He never goes anywhere
        Nothing was found anywhere
        Nor did she want any
        Neither John nor I wanted anything
        He hardly does any
        I barely spoke to anyone
        Few wanted anything to do with it
        She scarcely has any these days
    Negative verbs also require the non-assertive forms (usually):
        They failed to prevent any
    (other negative verbs such as forget, stop, abort, destroy etc. work the same way)
    Negative adjectives:
        He's reluctant to do any more
    (other negative adjectives such as hard, difficult, impossible etc. work the same way)
  4. The pronoun any- also means no matter who, no matter what:
        She eats anything
        Ask anyone
        Anyone can come



Negative pronouns

These are nobody, no-one, nothing, neither, none.
(The word no is a determiner only and cannot, in English, function as a pronoun.)

personal and impersonal
nobody, no-one, nobody are reserved for people
nothing is always for objects
none and neither can be used for both
    Nobody came
    No-one deserved the prize
    Nothing was there
    I asked my friends but none came
    I asked my brothers but neither came
    I wanted the beef but none was available
    I wanted one of the cars but neither was in my price range
mass and count
only the no- series and none can be used for mass nouns
    We went shopping for wine but there was nothing in the supermarket
    I needed hot pepper for the meal but had none

Concord issues

none is grammatically singular:
    She is waiting for her friends but none has arrived
is grammatically correct but, because of the proximity of the plural noun, many prefer
    She is waiting for her friends but none have arrived
The insertion of the preposition of often requires, or at least allows, the plural verb form so we can have either:
    She is waiting for her friends but none of them has arrived
    She is waiting for her friends but none of them have arrived

neither is also grammatically singular so we have
    Neither of her friends has arrived
but, again, because of the notion that we are referring to two people we also hear:
    Neither of her friends have arrived
and most people are, slightly inconsistently, happy with either formulation.
Using neither without of is quite a formal structure as in:
    I offered the boys the apples but neither wants one
and in this case, the pronoun is always singular so we do not allow:
    *I offered the boys the apples but neither want one

There is a link below to more about notional and proximity concord.



one and they

This pronoun / determiner one has a number of uses:

  1. As a determiner, it is the stressed form of the indefinite article.  Compare, e.g.:
        A man waited at the gate
        One man waited at the gate
  2. It functions as a determiner and a pronoun:
        Two girls were in the classroom but I only spoke to the older one (pronoun)
        Two girls were in the classroom but I only spoke to the one older girl (determiner)
  3. It is used as a pronoun in both the singular and the plural:
        He offered me all of them and I took the blue ones
        He offered me all of them and I took the blue one
    There is no apostrophe on the plural use.
  4. As a determiner, the genitive is allowed as in, e.g.:
        One must take care of one's belongings
    but there is no possessive use of this pronoun so, for example
        Whose is it?

    is not allowed.
  5. It is used as an indefinite personal pronoun standing for people in general.  This use is considered formal.
        One can't be too careful with inflammable liquids, can one?
    In AmE, the one in the question tag will usually be replaced by you to get:
        One can't be too careful with inflammable liquids, can you?
    There is a possessive form, one's, which takes the apostrophe.
        One must be careful with one's belongings when travelling by train
    In this use, the pronoun includes the speaker and may be replaced in two ways, informally:
    1.     You can't be too careful with inflammable liquids, can you?
      in which the pronoun includes the speak or:
    2.     They say we should be careful with inflammable liquids
      in which the pronoun also refers to a relevant but unspecified group of people but excludes the speaker and hearer.



several, a lot and enough

count and mass
These pronouns / determiners can only be plural with count nouns as in these examples:
    They have several pens
    They have enough pens
    They have a lot of pens
    *They have several pen
    *They have enough pen
    *They have a lot of pen

or as pronouns:
    Do we need more dictionaries?
    No, we have several
    No, we have enough

    No, we have a lot
enough and a lot are the only ones which can be used for mass nouns:
    Do you want more sugar?
    No, we have enough
    No, we have a lot
    *No, we have several
word order with enough
As a determiner only, enough can precede or follow the noun:
    We have enough money for the journey
    We have money enough for the journey
The latter is rarer and more formal.
Neither a lot (of) nor several can follow the noun when they function as determiners.
(As an adverb modifying an adjective enough must follow the adjective it modifies:
    That's good enough
    *That's enough good
a lot (of)
When this phrase is a determiner, it includes the preposition of.
As a pronoun proper, of is not allowed.
    We have a lot of time
    We have a lot of chairs
    We have a lot
    *We have a lot of

By the way, the word several is usually confined to numbers above two but fewer than ten.


The summary





These pronouns are function rather than content words and subject, as most function words are, to weakened pronunciations.
However, they are not often weakened to the same extent as is the case when they are functioning as determiners because the pronoun forms are often the object or subject of a verb rather than an additional determiner of a noun phrase and may be perceived as important by speakers.
Thus, for example, although in:
    Do you want some food?
the normal transcription would be:
with a reduction of the word some to /səm/ but in:
    Do you want some?
the transcription would be
with a fuller form of the word (as /sʌm/) because it stands alone as the object noun phrase

The only other significant issue for pronunciation of these items concerns the reduction of the word several.  When it acts as a determiner, it is often reduced to two rather than three syllables as in:
    She has several dogs
which is produced as
with the reduction of several to /se.vr.l̩/ but in:
    She has several
pronounced as
the three-syllable pronunciation is usually retained because, again, it stands as the sole representative of the object phrase.



Issues for teaching

The major issue is that these sorts of pronouns work very differently in different languages.  A few things in particular will bemuse learners:

The consequences are:

Related guides
the word-class map for links to guides to the other major word classes
pronouns: overview for a very brief guide to the whole area
personal pronouns the guide to the other major class of pronouns
ellipsis and substitution for the guide to a related area which focuses more on the cohesive functions
determiners many pronouns can, in other environments, act as determiners
pre- and post-determiners some items discussed here occur as pre-determiners.  See this guide for more.
assertion and non-assertion which includes consideration of many pronouns such as the any- and some-series
pro-forms for more on how items can be substituted in clauses and texts
relative pronoun clauses for the guide to the area
cohesion for more on how referencing holds language together
concord for more on notional and proximity concord
relative pronoun clauses for the guide and links to other clause structures
discourse index for the index to guides to the general area

Main reference:
Quirk, R, Greenbaum, S, Leech, G & Svartvik, J, 1972, A Grammar of Contemporary English, Harlow: Longman