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Thread: "were" or "was"

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    #1

    "were" or "was"

    Hi,

    Should I use "were" or "was" as

    There were two hundred rupees in my pocket.

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    #2

    Re: "were" or "was"

    Quote Originally Posted by Untaught88 View Post

    Should I use "were" or "was" as in

    'There were two hundred rupees in my pocket'?
    I'd use 'were'.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 15-Jan-2017 at 09:33.

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    #3

    Re: "were" or "was"

    "Two hundred rupees was enough".

    In the above sentence, we have to use 'was'. Can you please explain?

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    #4

    Re: "were" or "was"

    I would use "was". It's a monetary amount, which is considered a single aggregated unit.

    "Ten million dollars is a large amount of money."
    Translator, editor and TESOL certificate holder, but not a teacher. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

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    #5

    Re: "were" or "was"

    I am asking that why don't we use "was" when the sentence starts with "there"?

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    #6

    Re: "were" or "was"

    Quote Originally Posted by Untaught88 View Post
    I am asking that why we don't we use "was" when the sentence starts with "there."
    Who told you that?

    There was a lot of snow on the ground yesterday.

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    #7

    Re: "were" or "was"

    There were two hundred rupees in my pocket.
    Two hundred rupees was enough.

    Please read the above sentences and answer my question. In the first sentence, we use "were", and in the second sentence, we use "was".

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    #8

    Re: "were" or "was"

    You can use either "was" or "were." I must say that, just like Rover_KE, I also first thought of "were" instead of "was." I think the reason is that we're not familiar with rupees as a currency (we're not used to it), so we automatically thought of individual rupees (given the word was in the plural) rather than of the money as an amount, which it is, of course.
    Last edited by teechar; 15-Jan-2017 at 15:20.

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    #9

    Re: "were" or "was"

    My immediate reaction was "were" too, because of "rupees". However, I then started to think about what I would say in English about my currency.
    I would use "There was ten pounds/a tenner in my pocket" because I think of it as a single amount of money. It doesn't mean I had one single 10 note in my pocket. I would say the same thing if I had a total of 10 made up of, for example, a 5 note, two 1 coins and a collection of smaller change. I would only use "were" if I said "There were ten pound coins in my pocket". In that case, I am referring to the plural "coins".

    The important thing, I think, for you to consider is that in your original sentence you are talking about a total amount of money ("amount" is singular).
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #10

    Re: "were" or "was"

    That means "There was two hundred rupees in my pocket" is correct. And I must use "were" with "coins".

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