There are several reasons why you might be struggling to decide whether you should be using “was” or “were” in a sentence. Them Two? How to Take Notes: The 10-Step Guide to Note-Taking (Infographic), CMOS vs. AP – Recent Changes & Comparison, The Daily Word Counts of 19 Famous Writers, The Ideal Length of Everything You Write Online ( Infographic), 8 Famous Authors and Their Favorite Writing Spots, 9 Commonly Confused and Often Hysterical Song Lyrics. Was or were? If a stranger call me, should I say "Who is this" as the first sentence? How do you put grass into a personification? eg. Please log in again. He was the captain of the team and he chose a different strategy. Yes, it's quite common. Can someone explain this to me so it makes sense? But now we’ll examine how this relates to one of the most common errors in spoken or written English: the choice of “was” instead of “were” in the subjunctive mood. No matter how many people you are referring to, the subjunctive mood calls for the word “were.” If you’ve been prone to saying the incorrect “I wish I was,” “If he was” or “I wish she was” instead of the correct ‘I wish I were,” “If he were” or “I wish she were,” it will be easy to make the necessary adaptation and correct your grammar. If you are assuming “time and day” as a singular event, then it is wasn’t, but if you are assuming time and day as separate pieces of information being given, then it’s weren’t. Why do black people say "you was instead of "you were" .? off" instead of "from"). For example. I'm an English learner. How to manage a team member who is away from computer most of the times? If you grew up speaking English you probably wouldn’t understand this, but trying to learn it as a second language is difficult. instead of I said to him "If I was him" is a very common expression. The second sentence is a wish or a speculation – it refers to an event that did not actually happen, and “were” is the correct choice. What was nasdaq index close on December 31 2007? It is that mish-mash that has led to entirely different rules grammar than other languages have and to the wonderfully multiple spellings and meanings for words that sound the same such as “to,” “too,” and “two”; “lead” (two meanings) and “led”; and that wonderful catch all word of “fuck” which can be used as a verb, noun, adverb, adjective and God knows what and has so many different meanings, one wonders why it is even considered a “curse” word. There really is no difference when using “was” and “were” incorrectly. As past tense of are with. This is a big overreaction to make something more complicated than it should be — the only people who care are teachers so they can keep their jobs. I’m happy to the article was able to help you understand the difference a bit better. No, this is very sloppy English. Thus, "You were," never "you was." Even a newsreader on TV. Sentence is in present tense and is not conditional, plus ‘lips’ is plural – hence ‘were’. I have a grammar question.. but, those grandchildren was or were his pride and joy. Like you said, selection is singular, and since that is the subject of the sentence, that is what needs to match up with the verb. The truth is, you will be judged by how you speak and write. stuff that! In spoken as well as written English, you’ll find that just about everyone from plumbers to presidents is guilty of this mistake. Reference request: Examples of research on a set with interesting properties which turned out to be the empty set, All applications cannot open unless Internet is off. What if we were referring to an item or any not living object? If the vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar weren’t hard enough, this table sheds light on just how difficult it can be for a foreigner to understand what the British really mean when they’re speaking. Para obtener más información sobre cómo utilizamos tu información, consulta nuestra Política de privacidad y la Política de cookies. What instrument plays the main melody fom Nickelback? And BTW I hate that its: You were there. Use “were” when the “If I …” sentence could correctly followed up with “but I wasn’t”. If it sounds correct, then I’m usually right. That’s exactly what I hoped it would do. English, unlike most other languages, is derived from great number of languages – Latin, Greek, French, German, Scandinavian languages, Celtic languages. How to decline a postdoc offer a few days after accepting it. It's non standard British English, akin to the "royal "we"". What Americans Think It Means: Perfect. This was exactly what I was searching for when I type my question into the search engine. I’m very unsatisfied with some practical, basic functional conflicts and ambiguity of English, likely the only language I will ever know. This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies. They was trying to break into the house. “Apparently sunshine, outdoor activities and simple home-cooked meals was a good change for his son.”. There are some other languages that are much more difficult than English. They was stabbing him. Can someone re-license my BSD-3-licensed project under the MIT license, remove my copyright notices, and list me as a "collaborator" without consent. You can’t really compare the two. boom! For example my youngest sibling says, "I've gone to him, no you can't do that!" I understand it, but it still sounds wrong to me to use “were” with I and he and she. This helped a lot thank you for the post and also for the great explanation. Is this correct grammar.? Join Yahoo Answers and get 100 points today. In the sentence: “A selection of panels was checked.” – is the verb used correctly. Simply use ‘was’ for singular and ‘were’ for plural. (It's just me, though sometimes the "us" form sounds a bit nicer.) A set is singular so “was” is appropriate. Those two sentences have completely different meanings and are dramatically different from one another. Is it safe to say that if the sentence starts with “If I…” then it will always be “were” that comes next and not “was”? Ho I write Mia and Marco was open for discussion or were open for discussion. When making my way through a crowd of people. Its usage is also starting (like the who/whom distinction) to fade away in the mainstream, mainly because its absence doesn't (to my knowledge) change the meaning of an otherwise well-constructed sentence. The car, lorry and bus was causing congestion in the road v At least I think I do enough to finally get some sleep…. If I were to go out tonight, I think I would have a lot of fun. It should read If I were he. 90's PC game, similar to "Another World" but in 3D, dark, purple, locked inside a prison, Melville's chain of thought in the "great democratic God" passage in "Moby-Dick". “everyone from plumbers to presidents is guilty of this mistake” Thank you for this, I have been marked down for not proof reading my work emails due to this silly error. What is a proper way to tape a 6” round hole from can light? Thank you. Good luck with all your writing! This makes more sense to me now as I have not needed to use the two words for years since school. That would be a better comparison of whether or not you understand the difference of when to use “was” or “were”. The above sentence looks so wrong to me, but I can’t find an answer on if it’s right or wrong. Why can’t English be easy like other languages? Remember the plural form of the personal pronoun you always takes were, though it may denote but one. They show footage of say a hostage situation that has already been resolved and say "the hostage goes to the door, he looks out, he is targeted by police." I'm surprised that a newsreader said it. Perhaps the British person you know is simply too tired and did not wish to be rude. Anonymous. “If I were late, I’d be sorry.” But I wasn’t. The man said the set of tires was returned. I have seen mostly black people saying you was when it should be you were, and they say it with no wrong intention. For instance the other day a friend of mine died and a friend of the deceased one posted on that person wall on facebook " you was a good friend" . How long will the footprints on the moon last? Possible Duplicate: Why does Ray Bradbury use "flounder" for an action with a positive outcome? “If I was” or “If I were”. It doesn’t matter whether we are referring to a single person or a group of people. Strange . We only need to make a choice about when to use was or were with the first person singular (I) and the third person singular (he, she, or it). Some People Think English People Talk Snobby. I know it’s an old post but the problem seems to always be fresh… The time and day weren’t obvious or the time and day wasn’t obvious. Another one is [why do you talk to us like that] instead of why do you speak to me like that. The login page will open in a new tab. No, it's not right in English. Is this right in English or only England English? This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on February, 10, 2017. People are far too uptight about grammar and shouldn’t care as long as everyone understands. It can get a bit confusing, but I understand the correct way to use both now. Doing these mandatory chores affected whether or not I would be on time for school; timing and transportation was everything. It should be WERE but people say was & its not good. 1,526 5 5 gold badges 18 18 silver badges 28 28 bronze badges. was and were are difficult. If we are talking about a collection of singular nouns should you use was or were? “If she was home, I’d go and play” sounds much better than “If she were home, I’d go play with her, but the latter is supposedly correct.