no one / nobody - someone / somebody - anyone / anybody - everyone / everybody

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Shark, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. Shark

    Shark Senior Member

    France - French
    Hello everyone!

    I've got a question which might sound stupid, but what exactly is the difference between no-one and nobody? Or between someone and somebody?

    For example, what would be the difference between these two sentences :
    "Is there anybody here?" and "Is there anyone here?"
    or between :
    "Hello everyone!" and "Hello everybody!"

    I just hesitate each time I have to write it, and so use the terms randomly.

    Thanks for the precisions!
  2. morethanchance Senior Member

    England, English
    Les deux mots sont très semblables, et je pense que, dans la majorité de cas, on peut utiliser 'no-one' ou 'nobody' pour dire la même chose (et avec someone et somebody').

    Pour moi, '-body' a un sens plus personnel, mais ce n'est qu'un peu plus personnel'.

    Peut être c'est comme 'quelqu'un' (je dirais someone) et 'une personne' (somebody). Ils sont semblable, il n'y a que des différences petits.
  3. french4beth

    french4beth Senior Member


    Good question (definitely not a stupid question), but I'm not sure how to answer it :eek:

    Both sets of words mean the same thing (as morethanchance stated), but 'someone', 'no one', and 'anyone' are slightly more formal. They're pretty much interchangeable, though.

    This link may help:

    FYI - 'no one' is two words, not hyphenated (but many native speakers make this mistake, too ;) ).
  4. williamc Senior Member

    england english
    Hi everyone,

    "someone" is less impersonal than "somebody".
  5. morethanchance Senior Member

    England, English
    If I were writing a formal letter I'd say 'somebody' because it sounds more formal... but in everyday conversation I think 'someone' is less personal. "I wish somebody would be my friend" makes it sound more like you actually care who that somebody is, rather than just wanting 'someone' (anyone at all) to be your friend... then again, you'd say both really.

    Wow, there really is little or no difference! What is the difference?!:confused:
  6. matt_fr New Member


    Y a t-til une différence entre ces deux mots?
    Merci d'avance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2013
  7. Gardefeu Senior Member

    French (France)
  8. viera Senior Member

    Paris suburb
    Somebody sounds a little more casual to me, and someone is slightly more elegant.
  9. Giordano Bruno

    Giordano Bruno Senior Member

    English, England
    To be somebody can also mean to be a person of importance. In that sense, I would prefer it to someone. Nobody works in the opposite sense.
  10. MmePitchounette Senior Member

    Sherbrooke, Quebec
    Français, Canada
    I never really know when to use "someone" and "somebody". Is there a rule about this? :confused:
  11. Nizo Senior Member

    Hi. There's no rule I've ever heard of. However, I would say "somebody" sounds just slightly less formal to me than "someone."
  12. gambit2099 Senior Member

    Hello there!

    I would like to know when have we to use "everybody" and "everyone". What kind of context is better to use one and not the other?
    Is the same for "anybody" and "anyone"?

    Thank you!! :)
  13. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

  14. uptown Senior Member

    New York City
    USA English
  15. Bracebridge New Member

    Although both are grammatically singular, "nobody" is notionally plural.

    An example:

    Although many people were nominated, nobody accepted a nomination, thus no one was elected.
  16. Momerath Senior Member

    British English
    I think the main difference is that nobody has three syllables and two plosive consonants and therefore has a forceful quality that no-one lacks, making it more appropriate for certain rhetorical purposes.
  17. padmavyuha Senior Member

    Dawlish, Devon
    English - Southern England
    "Anyone" generally refers more specifically to the singular. "Is anyone there?" to my ear expects a possible single person - "is anybody there?" expects one or more people - in that context anyway.
    Incidentally, the Shorter Oxford dictionary is happy with "no-one" as an alternative to "no one" :).
  18. JDR

    JDR Senior Member

    Hello everyone/everybody

    I know this is a really old thread, but I found it by accident, and thought I would add one small addition. The pairs of words are interchangeable in almost all cases. The preferences for formal and informal, emphasis on singular, etc. are just that; preferences.

    But there are two special cases that I know of where there is a difference.

    "To be a somebody" means that the person is important, has made something of their lives. On the other hand "to be a nobody" means that the person is unimportant. In these cases you cannot use the alternative words.

    Also, somebody and nobody can be pluralized to somebodies and nobodies. These are rarer but grammatically correct. For example you could say "they are a couple of nobodies" if you were putting people down.

    Maybe there are other examples but I can't think of them now.

Share This Page