Indefinite pronouns are pronouns that refers to one or more unspecified people, places or things. These pronouns are very useful in Japanese. First we will look at pronouns that end in ka (か). If these pronouns are used alone their meaning gets changed to a question.

AloneEnglishJapanese
Whosomeone誰か dareka
Whatsomething何か nanika
Whichone or otherどれか doreka
Wheresomewhereどこか dokoka
Whensometime/dayいつか itsuka
Whysome reasonなぜか nazeka


   Someone ate bread = dareka ga pan o tabemashita
   (誰かがパンを食べました)

   Who? = dareka? (誰か?)



   When these words are used with mo (も) their meaning changes depending on if the sentence is positive or negative. They can either include or exclude everything.

EnglishJapanese
Noone/everyone誰も daremo
Nothing/everything何も nanimo
Nothing/everythingどれも doremo
Nowhere/everywhereどこも dokomo
Alwaysいつも itsumo
No reason/every reasonなぜも nazemo


   (I) always read newspaper = itsumo shinbun o yomu
   (いつも新聞を読む)







   The word itsumo almost always means always even when used with the negative. The word nanimo is not always preferred in every situation. There are different words that you can use in various sentences instead that mean the same thing.

EnglishJapanese
Everyone皆 minna/mina
Everything全部 zenbu
Totally/not at all全然 zenzen
Absolutely/never絶対 zettai


   (I) read it all = zenbu yomimashita (全部読みました)

   (I) can't understand at all = zenzen wakarimasen (全然分かりません)



    When you add the word demo (でも) the meaning changes to any.

EnglishJapanese
Anyone誰でも daredemo
Anything何でも nandemo
Anythingどれでも doredemo
Anywhereどこでも dokodemo
Anytimeいつでも itsudemo
Any reasonなぜでも nazedemo


   Anything is ok = nan demo ii (何でもいい)