English Language English Grammar: «Was and Were»

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When use "Was" and when use "Were" in English?

Was and were are both past tenses of the verb TO BE.

It's important to know how to use it. It's an irregular verb used a lot in both written and spoken English.

Singular / Plural[edit | edit source]

  • Was is used in the first person singular and the third person singular (he, she, it).
  • Were is used in the second person singular and plural (you, your, yours) and first and third person plural (we, they).
 - They were was gone (plural)
 - He was were gone (singular)

If I were[edit | edit source]

Example: "If I were was a better teacher, I could have more students."

Although I is singular, you have to use "If I were" with the subjunctive mood. This subjunctive is a verb form that is used for hypothetical statements.

You often use this form to express wishes.

For example,

  • He wishes I weren't so selfish.
  • He wishes it were wet outside.

Contributors, Vincent and Trilichmi

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