Somebody/Someone. Nobody/no-one

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  1. Charles James profile image76
    Charles Jamesposted 5 years ago

    When would I use "no-one" in preference to nobody" or "someone" in preference to "somebody". And vice versa?

    I hate to admit that I am ignorant, but this is beyond me. I am sure there is someone/somebody on HP who can help with this.

    1. profile image0
      Jennifer Sucheyposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I ditto the other responses. I'm glad to have "back up", though. wink I've never thought much of it and simply use whichever comes to mind or sounds best. When home schooling my kids, this specific subject never came up in curriculum, so I don't believe anything is taught in school about "when to use which".

  2. Polly C profile image94
    Polly Cposted 5 years ago

    I don't think it matters - at least, I've never even thought about the difference when writing.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I've always used whichever I feel like at the time, probably favouring 'someone' over 'somebody' but for no particular reason.

  3. Rochelle Frank profile image95
    Rochelle Frankposted 5 years ago

    I have heard that only it depends on how they sound in the sentence.
    "Someone" is two syllables and "somebody" is three-- so the first is sometimes snappier. On the other hand,  saying "someone once said..."  sounds a little stuttery, I think it sounds better to say "somebody once said...".
    Some people say that "someone" refers to a specific person and "somebody" is more general, bu the distinction is small.
    Both are correct, and mean the same, so it is a preference.
    If someone contradicts me, and somebody may, I'll take it under consideration.

    In general the same applies to no one and nobody, and anyone and anybody.

    1. Fiction Teller profile image60
      Fiction Tellerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Somebody might contradict someone, but someone would be wrong.

      And if nobody disagrees with THAT point, I'll take it as read that no-one is paying attention.

      Oh, and "nobody" is always second to none in my book, because for the life of me I can never remember how to spell no-one/no one/noone. (I swear it should be the last, as the word's had more than enough time to evolve out of hyphenation, but alas, it sounds too much like some high-class lunch hour.)

      1. Rochelle Frank profile image95
        Rochelle Frankposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        I'm pretty sure 'noone' is totally wrong. It should be no one -- two words unhyphenated (though The Brits might use it?). This is a good place for evryone to use "nobody". Now, who's on first?

  4. LuisEGonzalez profile image84
    LuisEGonzalezposted 5 years ago

    1.Somebody and someone share all the same definitions, and are  interchangeable. When you choose one over the other it is usually because it  "sounds" better as per the accompanying sentences/words.
    2. In general, nobody is informal and no one is formal. But mean exactly the

  5. Charles James profile image76
    Charles Jamesposted 5 years ago

    My early education was a bit disjointed. I worked out once that between the ages of six and ten I averaged a new school every two terms. That was good for me in some ways. And bad in other ways.

    I saw the same film about the Dutch tulip industry three times. I have often wondered what I missed.

    Now I know! it was no-one/nobody and anyone/anybody.

    I really am gratful for these answers!

  6. Carola Finch profile image94
    Carola Finchposted 5 years ago

    The Associated Press Stylebook can help you with these kind of conundrums.  It is commonly used by newspapers.  You can get the book or order it online (very cool)  and look stuff up.

  7. OMGirdle profile image76
    OMGirdleposted 5 years ago

    I think "someone" is more familiar.  Where as somebody is more distant. "Someone in this room stole the pen."  "Somebody in this room stole the pen."  My opinion only: the first sentence you have an idea who may have stole the pen. You associate with a certain group of people. The second sentence you don't know exactly who stole the pen. You are looking at the whole rather than certain individuals. "No-one called me on my birthday." "Nobody called me on my birthday." Here, my opinion again, the first sentence says out of all the people you know, not one individual called you. The second sentence out of the entire population of the world not one person called you. I think it has to do with familiarity or proximity. I don't know if I'm correct, it's just an opinion.  I didn't want to Google it but rather go off what I thought.

    It's almost like your question when you wrote, " I am sure there is someone/somebody on HP who can help with this."  Someone would be HP members who read your thread (in close proximity to your question). Somebody would be any HP member (within the community but outside of your thread).

    Just a thought.

  8. seanorjohn profile image78
    seanorjohnposted 5 years ago

    I think Rochelle's response is spot on. Does everyone agree?

  9. LuisEGonzalez profile image84
    LuisEGonzalezposted 5 years ago

    All answers are basically correct. Both set of terms mean the same and are interchangeable. In the case of no one and nobody one is a bit more  formal (no one) and should be used in more formal conversations if that is your preference. This distinction does not formally apply to some one or somebody but it can be used in the same way (one formal the other informal). Grammatically using either word in the set is correct. It is more a matter of  phonology than anything else. Bottom line; use whichever word you feel more comfortable with................wink

  10. Rafini profile image86
    Rafiniposted 5 years ago

    A very interesting question, one I've often wondered about myself on occasion. 

    Usually I use whichever I feel like using or whichever sounds best at the time, but sometimes I feel I have to think about it and my thoughts tell me this:

    SOMEONE is used when you don't want just ANYBODY, and SOMEBODY is used when ANYONE will do.  And vice versa.  Same goes for Nobody vs. no-one.  NOBODY is used when ANYONE would make a good substitute and NO-ONE is best used when ANYBODY could fit in its place.  Does that make sense?  (doesn't really to me, but that's how I go about it)


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