(Closed) was vs were

posted 6 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: Was vs Were
    Was : (0 votes)
    Were : (147 votes)
    100 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    837 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    They were, you were. 

    Simple conjugation rules: English has ’em.

    Post # 4
    Member
    228 posts
    Helper bee

    @ellisrobertson:  English also has dialects and creoles and various other forms. There are rules to standard English and different rules for other dialects of English. Language is fluid. OP didn’t ask what was proper or standard, she asked what people use.

     

    Post # 6
    Member
    4366 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2018

    I was, he/she was, it was – singular

    You were, they were – plural (you is both singular and plural but uses the plural form)

    In your examples “where were you?” as you is plural 

    “they were here yesterday” as they is plural

    “the milkman was here yesterday” is singular as it is one person, “John and Nora were here yesterday” John and Nora are two people and therefore plural.

    “Where was the bus?” because bus is an “it” and singular.

    So because of the examples you used, I voted for “were”.

    I just realised you asked what people said and not what was right, so I’m sorry to offend.

    Post # 8
    Member
    4366 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2018

    @ChocolateLime:  I’m from the south of England too.  Most midlanders/northeners I know speak properly.  The ones that don’t had bad teachers or slipped into bad habits.

    Post # 10
    Member
    4366 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2018

    @ChocolateLime:  Haha. I want to correct people all the time.  Similarly too, my brother tends to speak with a plum in his mouth and I have no idea why or how.

    Post # 11
    Member
    440 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    It makes my ears bleed when I hear the word ‘was’ used incorrectly. It pains me because it sounds so uneducated and lazy. And a bit ‘rudeboy’ Even worse when it’s spelt woz. Ugh. Sorry I’m a language snob.

    “Was you out yesterday”

    “Was you at work today”

     

    Post # 12
    Member
    5009 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2012

    Whilst the confusion of the singular and plural irritates me, the “was vs were” tgst really gets my goat is the use of was with the subjunctive. It should be “if I were” not “if I was”.

    Post # 13
    Member
    687 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    I say: 

    They were on an outing yesterday

    We were on an outing yesterday

    and then:

    I was on an outing yesterday. 

    He was on an outing yesterday.

    Post # 14
    Member
    646 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    it’s you were

    Post # 15
    Member
    5147 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I didn’t vote in the poll. These words are not interchangeable.

    singular noun (I, she/she, it) = was

    plural noun (you, they, we) = were

    The topic ‘was vs were’ is closed to new replies.

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