Difference Between Were and Was (With Table)

The English Language is hard to master. However, people sometimes make mistake when to use the correct word, and instead they make a wrong meaning out of a sentence. So, it is very important for you to always keep in mind ass what word will be the most suitable one for using in a sentence.

Using the correct word will help the other person communicate with you properly. Well, if not done properly then it could lead to miscommunication thus resulting in loss of time and effort. There are major differences between the terms ‘were’ and ‘was’.

Were vs Was

The difference between Were and Was is that we use the term ‘were’ when we are referring to several parties or entities. For example:” My parents were deeply grieved by the incident.” We use the term ‘was’ when we are referring to a single entity or a single party. For example: “Mary was in Bangalore last month.”

As you can understand that both the terms have got different meanings and thus it is important to use the correct word to make a sentence meaningful and accurate.

Comparison Table Between Were and Was

Parameters of ComparisonWereWas
Past Tense‘Were’ is the past tense of ‘are’The past tense of ‘was’ is ‘is’.
When it is used?The term ‘were’ is used with the plural nouns and the pronouns.The term ‘was’ is used with the singular and uncountable nouns or pronouns.
ExamplesIt was very easy to guess that they were coming from America.I was watching Television when she entered my room.
Described ToIf you are in the subjunctive mood then it is necessary for you to use the term ‘were’The reality can be described by using the term ‘was’
Some ExamplesI, he, she, it, etc.We, you, they, etc.

What is ‘Were’?

The term ‘were’ is used to explain the presence of objects or a group of people. The people need to have a piece of proper knowledge about this word. Some people often make this mistake by using or saying the wrong term in the wrong sentence.

However, it is also not that confusing to make these kinds of mistakes. It is easy to understand when and where to use these terms especially the term ‘were’. To explain in simple words the term ‘were’ is the past form of ‘are’. With the help of some examples, you will understand when and where the term is used.

Example: The children were having trouble understanding the topic.

Here, in the above example, you can clearly see how I have used the term were in the sentence. It is being said that the children were having trouble understanding the topic where we can understand that the action took place in the past.

We can also see that there is a presence of the individuals and it is being referred to more than one. This is how the term ‘were’ is used in a sentence to make sure that there is no mistake in understanding the statement.

What is ‘Was’?

The term ‘was’ is used to refer to single person or object. Here, the term ‘was’ is also quite easy and simple to understand. People often make that silly mistake while speaking or talking to someone. Say for example: I were sitting with them at the same table.

Here, in the above example, you can clearly understand my mistake. I have not used the correct word and it makes my sentence null because the sentence is meaningless. The proper way to say the same sentence is: I was sitting with them at the same table.

Now, it becomes easier for the other person to understand the sentence correctly. You can see that the term ‘was’ is being referred to as a single person or an object. This is what makes the difference between the term ‘was’ and ‘were’.

Main Differences Between ‘Were’ and ‘Was’

  1. It is clear that the term ‘was’ is the past tense of ‘is’ and the term ‘were’ is the past tense of ‘are’.
  2. The term ‘was’ is a verb that is used for a singular object or an uncountable subject, both nouns, and pronouns. On the other hand, the term ‘were’ is used when you are referring to a plural object or subjects.
  3. The term ‘were’ means that you are referring to several parties or entities.
  4. The term ‘was’ means you are referring to a single party or entity.
  5. The term ‘were’ could be used as the past subjunctive. For example, you can use were in the place of ‘to be’.


There is a major difference between the two terms and now it is clear how the terms are used in different kinds of sentences. Using the correct word will make the sentence more appropriate and accurate.

However, while writing an essay or a letter people still tend to make the same mistake again and again. Now, several digital grammar checkers are available on the internet and with the help of such tools, it has not become easier to write perfect essays or emails or other such things.

But, people should learn how to use different words with the correct tenses. Often you come across people who tend to judge you by the way you speak or the words that you use while speaking. It is always not necessary to use bombastic words but using simple words instead is great.

With the help of reading books or articles, and essays you can be a master of the English Language. Take help from the internet, watch tutorial videos to understand better if you are having trouble understanding.


  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/BF03197127
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0010027785900150