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