Was or Were?

Among English learners (and not only) there often is some confusion as far as whether "was" or "were"  should be used.

Real conditonals and sentences about real events

You should select "was" or "were" based on this:

I was
You were
He was
She was
It was
We were
You were
They were


  • If she wasn't handicapped, why did she part her car there?
  • I was shopping yesterday at 1 p.m.
  • They were very angry at me.


Unreal conditional sentences, wishes, advices and some other expressions

"Was" can be replaced with "were". In most cases "were" will sound more correct.

  • If she was/were here, I would talk to her.
  • I wish you was/were here.
  • If I were/was you, I wouldn't worry.
  • If I were/was you, I would take those classes as soon as possible.


If an unreal sentence employs the inversion, only "were" can be used.

  • Were I a bit taller, I would be more attractive.
  • Were she faster, she would take part in the European Championships.

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