Someone vs. Something

What is the difference between the two indefinite pronouns 'someone' and 'something'? Can they be used interchangeably?

"Someone" vs. "Something" in English Grammar

Similarity

'Someone' and 'something' are both indefinite pronouns comprised of two parts:

  • some + one
  • some + thing

Difference

'Someone' as a Pronoun

  • Those indefinite pronouns made up of '-one' refer only to unspecified or unknown humans.

Something fishy is going on here.

Pick something you like.

'Something' as a Pronoun

  • Those indefinite pronouns made up of '-thing' refer only to unspecified or unknown things (non-humans).

Has somebody seen my purse?

Somebody's at the door asking for you.

'Someone' as a Noun

As a noun, 'someone' refers to an unnamed person we might or might not know.

Are you going to buy it for that special someone?

Those someones we were discussing were here an hour before.

'Something' as a Noun

'Something' as a noun can both refer to a person or thing of some importance. Remember that in this case it is used mostly in informal English.

She is really something! I can't believe she did that!

You've never met Adam. He's something else.

'Something' as an Adverb

'Something' can also be used as an adverb. It is synonymous with 'somewhat' and it means 'to some degree'.

It remains something of a mystery.

'Something' can also be used as an intensifier to put an extra emphasis on an adjective.

My back hurts something awful.

Comments

Loading recaptcha
  • linkedin
  • linkedin
  • facebook
  • facebook
  • email

You might also like

Somebody vs. Somebody Else

bookmark
In order to add to your bookmarks you must sign in to your account
What is the difference between these two sentences? 'Ask somebody for help'. And 'Ask somebody else for help'. Let's see.

Someone vs. Everyone

bookmark
In order to add to your bookmarks you must sign in to your account
'Someone' and 'everyone' are both indefinite pronouns that refer to unspecified persons. Here, we will discuss their similarities and differences.

Someone vs. Some One

bookmark
In order to add to your bookmarks you must sign in to your account
Is there a difference between 'someone' and 'some one'? Can 'some one' also be used as an indefinite pronoun? Let's check them out.

Someone vs. Someone Else

bookmark
In order to add to your bookmarks you must sign in to your account
What is the difference in meaning when we add the adverb 'else' to the indefinite pronoun 'someone'? To find out the difference between the two, read this part!

Anything vs. Everything

bookmark
In order to add to your bookmarks you must sign in to your account
'Anything' and 'everything' are both pronouns that are used to refer to something. They have fairly similar spelling and structure, but what's their difference?

Anything vs. Any Thing

bookmark
In order to add to your bookmarks you must sign in to your account
Are 'anything' and 'any thing' both acceptable words in standard English? If yes, are they interchangeable? If no, which one is correct?
LanGeek
Download LanGeek app