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    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 46
    #1

    were and was

    when could i use was and were following "it"?

    i have ever thought that IT was always followed by WAS (as well as she and he).

    thanks.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: were and was

    It was / they were

    It cannot take "were". It is singular, were is plural.

    It was very funny / They were very funny
    It was not expensive / They were expensive.


    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 46
    #3

    Re: were and was

    so, what about this topic

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...b-correct.html ?

    thanks.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #4

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #5

    Re: were and was

    From the same source here's the gist:

    When the situation described by the if clause is not presupposed to be false, however, that clause must contain an indicative verb. The form of verb in the main clause will depend on your intended meaning:

    If Hamlet was really written by Marlowe, as many have argued, then we have underestimated Marlowe’s genius.

    If Kevin was out all day, then it makes sense that he couldn’t answer the phone.


    Remember, just because the modal verb would appears in the main clause, this doesn’t mean that the verb in the if clause must be in the subjunctive if the content of that clause is not presupposed to be false:

    If I was (not were) to accept their offer—which I’m still considering—I would have to start the new job on May 2.

    He would always call her from the office if he was (not were) going to be late for dinner.

    Does that help?

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