One and Ones

'One' and 'ones' are impersonal pronouns in English. They're used in place of previously mentioned nouns to avoid repetition.

"One" and "Ones" in the English Grammar


As a personal pronoun, 'one' and 'ones' can be used to refer to 'people in general'.
They are both impersonal pronouns.



We often use 'one' or 'ones' in more formal styles of writing. Too much use of it might result in a very formal language (that almost sound unnatural).


The pronoun 'one' replaces singular or one person, animal, or thing.

The bus just left right now. The next one will be here in 15 minutes.

Here, the noun 'bus' is replaced by 'one'. The adjective 'next' can't be used alone and the repetition of 'bus' doesn't sound natural. Therefore, we replaced 'one' to avoid repetition.

Do you know these guys? Molly is the tall one and Emily is the short one.

As you can see, we cannot omit the pronoun 'one' and say 'Molly is the tall and Emily is the short'.


'Ones' replaces the nouns that are used in the plural form. They can refer to people, animals, or things.

These pants are more to my style. The ones I tried before weren't to my liking.

Here, 'ones' replaces 'pants' (a plural noun)

My glasses are broken. I need new ones.


We use 'one' and 'ones':

Which is your jacket, the brown one or the gray one?

Do you see those dogs? Jessie is the one chewing that toy.

Which one is your luggage?

Look at all these muffins. That one looks delicious.

This One/That One/These Ones/Those Ones

'One' and 'ones' can be used as pronouns and accompany demonstrative determiners to refer to something(s)/someone(s).


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