Since ‘are’ is in the present tense, it must be used to denote an action that is being done in the present. There is a tip you might want to consider. So, you will use “was” with I, he, she and it while you will use “were” with you, we and they. What does were mean? I wish I were a prince. Observe the two sentences … Had been is used in the past perfect continuous tense. We were younger then. Forty people were present. Learn here. Even though you are singular, you must use “were”. Another combo that can get confusing is was vs were. The answer is were. (verb) They were a fine group. Where is a word used to ask the location of something (most of the time). There are several reasons why you might be struggling to decide whether you should be using \'was\' or \'were\' in a sentence. Where is the period? I wish I were rich. They were very excited. Instead of saying, "There is a book on the table," as the cited example above does, write "A book is on the table." Jonathan Oldstyle and Diedrich Knickerbocker are the subjects of the sentence. Generally, “was is used for singular objects and “were” is used for plural objects. “You was” is an incorrect usage. In both the sentences, the word were is used in the past tense of the two sentences ‘they are tired’ and ‘the students are happy when they see the new books in the library’ respectively. Both ‘are’ and ‘were… Were you out last night? My English99 teacher wrote a mark "weak" on my sentence starts with 'there' Dec 07 2009 23:12:39. anonymous "There" is a false subject and no, the word should not begin a sentence. Where were you going? Alternatively, you can use the passive sentence form in the sentence as follows: “The players were slammed against the boards during the hockey game.” In such cases, the terms are used correctly by describing the state and tense of the subject in the passive form. Two seats were vacant. There were two cakes. Any sentence with two subjects takes a plural verb. Third-person plural simple past tense indicative of be. I wish I were young. They were seen to go out. Jonathan Oldstyle and Diedrich Knickerbocker were two of Irving's pen name. We were very tired. Were definition, a second person singular past indicative; first, second, and third person plural past indicative; and past subjunctive of be. Were you busy yesterday? "Were" We were all tired. They were taken prisoner. See more. A couple of examples would be who vs whom and further vs farther. All of us were silent. Those are two completely different words. Its counterpart, ‘were’, is used when the subject of the sentence is plural, and the action or condition that is expressed has already been completed or the event happened in the past. I wish he were here now. The difference between Were, Where, and We're. At the end of this sentence. The cat and the dog were sitting on the fence. English can be difficult, especially when it comes to words that can be easily confused. 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