Difference between was and were

Difference between was and wereDifference between was and were

There is a huge difference between was and were. The word ‘were’ is used when the number of subject is plural, as in ‘They were going to London’. The word ‘Was’ is used for a singular entity, as in ‘I was going to London.’

There are, however, certain complexities in their usage. As in, ‘Everyone was going to London, may seem grammatically incorrect  because  the word everyone refers to more than one entity, but is not incorrect. The reason that it is correct that the word everyone is addressing all the members of a group individually (one by one), and same is the case with ‘each’ (As in-Each of us was going to London.)

On the contrary the word all refers collectively to the entire group (All of us were going to London). What we need to keep in mind is that as long as the word all is used to refer to a countable number of subjects, the word were will be used with it. Example:(All of us were going to London) but when the word all is used to refer to some uncountable subject, the word was is used with it, as in “all was well until we fought.”

The word ‘were’ is also used as the past subjunctive of the present ‘to be’ is important. A subjunctive is used to express possibility, hope, supposition, etc., rather than to state a fact. Hence, we say,‘If I/he wererich…’instead of‘If I/he was rich…’

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Accept Except Adapt Adopt Adverse Averse   Advice Advise
Beside Besides bought and brought Can and May
Compliment Complement Could, would and should Do Make
Double Negatives Each Every Effect and Affect
Either Neither Elicit Illicit Have Has
Hear Listen I and Me It’s and Its
Loose Lose Much Many Of Off
Principle Principal See Watch Since and For
So Such Some Any Stationery Stationary
Threw Through Till Until To Too 
Usage of Myself Was Were When If
Where Were  Who and Whom Your You’re
Aesthetic and Ascetic Allusion and Illusion Born and Borne
Anecdote and Antidote Brake and Break Cereal and Serial
Coma and Comma Do and Does Desert and Dessert
Effective and Efficient Idle and Idol In and Inside
Irrelevant and Irreverent Marital and Martial Plain and Plane
Suit and Suite Tell and Say Pray and Prey
Tire and Tyre Wave and Waive Wait and Weight
Will and Going to Then and Than There, Their and They’re

7 thoughts on “Difference between was and were

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