Difference Between Are and Were

Everyone loves to read a beautiful poem or a captivating book from time to time. Many do make time for it and many are just interested in engrossing themselves with literature.

As you develop the habit of reading, you become a wizard of the vocabulary words. But sometimes even the avid readers do have significant uncertainties, especially with the sentence formation with proper grammar.

In English, grammar can be a tricky business but not so fiddly to understand. There are confusions as to which word is placed where. A very common misconception when it comes to grammar is the usage of the verb ‘are’ and ‘were.’

Though there are only a few comparative talks between them, they seem a little problematic to match with their corresponding sentences.

Are vs Were

The main difference between Are and Were lies on the type of tense that is being utilized. So, we can say that the verb ‘are’ is used in the present tense and in the past tense comes the verb ‘were.’

Are vs Were

Comparison Table Between Are and Were (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of the ComparisonAreWere
When are they used?When a confusion arises whether to use ‘is’ or ‘are’ then take a look at the noun. Singular belongs to the verb ‘is’ and plural is for ‘are’ verb.It is used in second person singular and plural (you, your, yours) and first and third person plural (we, they).
Tense usedThe ‘are’ verb is being used in the current situation i.e., in the present tense‘Were’ verb has used long-ago i.e. in the past tense.
ExampleThe protesters are still standing in the sun – Here the activity is still continuing at the presentPeople were walking through the subway – The action is already over in the past.
In singular formIs – The singular form of areWas – The singular form of was


What is Are?

Everyone is placed in a situation or in this world for some solid reason. It could be good or bad. Similarly the purpose of the verb ‘are’ in this world is for two motives.  

Primarily it is used for the purpose of measurement in the form of a noun. Example: Each mahogany tile is are in the position. Here are can be defined as a metric component of calculation.

Another crucial usage of are can be seen in sentences that have more than one thing in place. It has the most important work of joining two sentences in matrimony.

So we can say are plays the role of the marriage officiant. For example: The ladies are getting ready for the party.

You can see how are becomes the connecting verb between ‘The ladies’ and it’s other half ‘getting ready for the party.’


What is Were?

We always dream of imaginary stuff when we daydream or when we are just idle. We can say those things are unreal.

They are just purely fantasy. So, with the word were, one can think of many unrealistic stuff like:

  1. If I were a king, I would travel around the word.
  2. If I were a cat, I would sit around lazily.
  3. If I were a traveler, I would love to see all the oceans one day.

Here we can clearly see how the speaker predicts or thinks that it would be good if all of these things were to come true, but we are not sure it is still remaining as idealistic statements.

“Were” is commonly used in a text that involves higher level of imaginary statements. Factual testimonies use the ‘was’ verb in a greater deal.

Many a times the events that take place in the ancient times are referred to as in the past times. So even some sentences have endings that are in past tense.

Like for example, France and Britain were the ones who determined war against Germany thus causing the World War II.

But if you were to address the same kind of sentence in a singular form, that’s where was comes in. Example: Hitler was the major cause of World War II.


Main Differences Between Are and Were

  1. ‘Were’ can see its place in unfamiliar and theoretical situations, are can used in reasonable sentences.
  2. The opposite grammatical part of are – is
  3. The opposite grammatical part of were – was
  4. The verb ‘are’ can also be used for an event that was true long ago, For example: My siblings were naughty, but my siblings are no longer annoying.  The verb ‘were’ can often be found in the old conditions.
  5. The verb ‘are’ seems to have more than one purpose but the verb ‘were’ is being for a sole purpose.
  6. Since ‘be’ is the common verb for both linking verbs, it shouldn’t be taken that they are similar. Is and Are can also called as interrogative words and were can be used to indicate unreal situations or wishes that might take place. Example: If I were rich and if Lata were cooperative.



Are and Were can both be credited as the linking words. They are either combined with a main verb like ‘be’ or get the work done solely in a sentence.

The action word ‘are’ is the plural variety of the action word ‘be’ and is utilized in sentences where the subject is plural or plural in structure and the activity or condition occurs in the present.

The action word ‘are’ is utilized when the subject of the sentence includes at least two people or items. Since ‘are’ is in the current state, it must be utilized to indicate an activity that is being done in the present.

Its partner, ‘were’, is utilized when the subject of the sentence is plural, and the activity or condition that is communicated has just been finished or the occasion occurred previously.

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