Were vs Was: Difference and Comparison

The English Language is hard to master. However, people sometimes make mistakes when using the correct word; instead, they make a wrong meaning out of a sentence. So, it is very important always to remember what word will be the most suitable for use in a sentence.


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

Key Takeaways

  1. “Were” is the past tense plural form of “to be,” while “was” is the past tense singular form of “to be.”
  2. “Were” is used with plural subjects, while “was” is used with singular subjects.
  3. “Were” and “was” describe past events, actions, or states of being.

Were vs Was

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

Were vs Was 1

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

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonWereWas
Past Tense‘Were’ is the past tense of ‘are.’The past tense of ‘was’ is ‘is’.
When is it used?The term ‘were’ is used with plural nouns and pronouns.‘was’ is used with 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 you must 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’ explains 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, making these kinds of mistakes is also not that confusing. It is easy to understand when and where to use these terms, especially ‘were’. To explain, ‘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.

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

We can also see that the individuals are present, and it is being referred to more than once. This is how the term ‘were’ is used in a sentence to ensure no mistake in understanding the statement.

were 1

What is ‘Was’?

The term ‘was’ refers to a single person or object. Here, the term ‘was’ is also easy and simple to understand. People often make that silly mistakes while speaking or talking to someone. 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, which makes my sentence null because it 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 referred to a single person or an object. This makes the difference between the terms ‘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 used for a singular object or an uncountable subject, both nouns and pronouns. On the other hand, the term ‘was’ is used when you are referring to a plural object or subject.
  3. The term ‘were’ means 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’ instead of ‘to be’.
Difference Between X and Y 2023 04 21T153833.517
  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/BF03197127
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0010027785900150
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