They were seen to go out. Forty people were present. Where is the period? I wish I were rich. Two seats were vacant. Were you out last night? Third-person plural simple past tense indicative of be. I wish I were young. I wish he were here now. They were very excited. Since ‘are’ is in the present tense, it must be used to denote an action that is being done in the present. Jonathan Oldstyle and Diedrich Knickerbocker are the subjects of the sentence. What does Had Been mean? 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. At the end of this sentence. "Were" We were all tired. Learn here. There are several reasons why you might be struggling to decide whether you should be using \'was\' or \'were\' in a sentence. The difference between Were, Where, and We're. “You was” is an incorrect usage. How to use Were, Where, and We're in a sentence. We were very tired. Generally, “was is used for singular objects and “were” is used for plural objects. English can be difficult, especially when it comes to words that can be easily confused. (verb) They were a fine group. Instead of saying, "There is a book on the table," as the cited example above does, write "A book is on the table." I wish I were a prince. The cat and the dog were sitting on the fence. What does were mean? We were younger then. 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. Were definition, a second person singular past indicative; first, second, and third person plural past indicative; and past subjunctive of be. All of us were silent. Where to Use Was/Were? Where is a word used to ask the location of something (most of the time). A couple of examples would be who vs whom and further vs farther. Even though you are singular, you must use “were”. There were two cakes. Jonathan Oldstyle and Diedrich Knickerbocker were two of Irving's pen name. Were you busy yesterday? Another combo that can get confusing is was vs were. So, you will use “was” with I, he, she and it while you will use “were” with you, we and they. Where were you going? 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. Observe the two sentences … Both ‘are’ and ‘were… Had been is used in the past perfect continuous tense. Any sentence with two subjects takes a plural verb. 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. See more. The answer is were. 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