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How to Use “Was” vs. “Were” Correctly – Example Sentences

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Learning English can be tricky, especially when it comes to choosing between “was” and “were.” Don’t worry; we’re here to make it easy for you! In this guide, we’ll explore how to use “were” and “was” correctly in simple words, with plenty of examples to help you understand.

Understanding “Was” and “Were”:

WAS (Singular)WERE (Plural)
I was at the store.You were at the park.
You were studying.They were playing games.
He was reading a book.We were cooking dinner.
She was watching a movie.You were walking in the garden.
It was a sunny day.They were exploring the city.

 

Was and were are the past tense of the verb “to be“.

“Was”: Imagine you’re talking about just one person or thing (singular) – maybe yourself, someone else, or even an animal. That’s when “was” steps in. For example, “I was happy yesterday,” or “The cat was sleeping.”

“Were”: Now, when you’re talking about more than one person or thing (plural), like your friends or a group of animals, “were” is the word you need. “We were playing in the park,” or “They were singing together.”

Was and Were Usage with Examples

 

Check Also:
20+ Example Sentences in the Past Progressive Tense
12 Tenses in English Grammar with Examples (PDF)
1000+ Common Daily English Phrases for Beginners (PDF)

 

Example sentences with WAS

The sun was shining brightly in the sky.
My favorite toy was missing from the shelf.
Yesterday, she was playing in the park.
The cat was sleeping on the cozy blanket.
It was raining heavily during the storm.
The teacher was explaining a new lesson.
The delicious smell of pizza was in the air.
He was wearing a blue shirt to the party.
The baby was giggling in the crib.
The movie was interesting and funny.

 

Example sentences with Were:

The birds were singing in the trees.
We were planting flowers in the garden.
They were building a sandcastle at the beach.
The students were listening carefully in class.
Our friends were waiting for us at the cafe.
The cookies were baking in the oven.
The cars were honking in the busy street.
We were swimming in the cool lake.
The books were neatly stacked on the shelf.
The children were laughing and playing together.

If I Was vs. If I Were:

Now, let’s dive into a bit more magical territory – the land of “if.” When you’re dreaming or wishing for something that isn’t real, you use “were” in your sentence.

  • Example 1: “I wish I were a superhero.” (But, hey, I’m not really a superhero.)
  • Example 2: “If I were you, I would eat ice cream every day.” (Guess what? I’m not really you, just imagining it!).

Remember that when we’re talking about things that are real and have happened, such as facts or memories, we should use “was”.

 

Examples to Make It Clear: Let’s bring was & were into action with some examples:

Example Sentences with WAS and Were

 

Positive Sentences:

She was a great dancer.
We were friends since kindergarten.
I was looking for her.
They were good friends.
I was doing my homework

 

Negative Sentences:

He was not at the party last night.
The flowers were not blooming in winter.
I was not looking for you.
They were not good friends.
I was not doing my homework.

 

Interrogative Sentences:

Was she at the concert?
Were they studying together?
Were you looking for me?
Were they good friends?
Was he doing his homework?

 

If I Was vs. If I Were:

I wish I were a famous actor.
If I were a bird, I would fly to the highest mountain.

Just remember, “was” for one person or thing (singular), “were” for more than one (plural), and “were” for those magical ‘if’ moments. Keep practicing, and soon you’ll be using “was” and “were” like a pro!

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