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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    Question "Was" and "Were"?

    I had a bit of a debate today with somebody, about which word was correct for the sentence. The sentence being, "You WERE driving too fast, yesterday evening", or as I thought it to be, "You WAS driving to fast, yesterday evening". I was thinking along the lines of plural and past tense for "were" and singular past tense for "was". As only one person can drive a car at one time, I went along the lines of "You WAS..........". This question was posed in a literary test. The question was on an official paper, so it was in "black and white" so to speak. If I am correct, then it only cements my belief that the English language appears doomed??? I am quite willing to eat humble pie on this poser, but I believe that I am quite correct.............over to you!

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    #2

    Re: "Was" and "Were"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I had a bit of a debate today with somebody, about which word was correct for the sentence. The sentence being, "You WERE driving too fast, yesterday evening", or as I thought it to be, "You WAS driving to fast, yesterday evening". I was thinking along the lines of plural and past tense for "were" and singular past tense for "was". As only one person can drive a car at one time, I went along the lines of "You WAS..........". This question was posed in a literary test. The question was on an official paper, so it was in "black and white" so to speak. If I am correct, then it only cements my belief that the English language appears doomed??? I am quite willing to eat humble pie on this poser, but I believe that I am quite correct.............over to you!

    You were.

    Here's why: as you know, "you" is used for both singular and plural.

    There was a word which meant "you-singular", thou, but it survives only in church prayer. You originally was the plural, and that's why it takes the plural verb.

  2. #3

    Question Re: "Was" and "Were"?

    I have a similar question regarding the use of was and were - another subject of lively debate - which form of the sentence below is correct?

    The November 2009 minutes were tabled for review at the next board meeting.

    The November 2009 minutes was tabled for review at the next board meeting.

    If one set of minutes is singular, then using the word "was" is correct. But it just does not sound right to me.

    Thanks for the help!

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    #4

    Re: "Was" and "Were"?

    Quote Originally Posted by LBVessels View Post
    I have a similar question regarding the use of was and were - another subject of lively debate - which form of the sentence below is correct?

    The November 2009 minutes were tabled for review at the next board meeting.

    The November 2009 minutes was tabled for review at the next board meeting.

    If one set of minutes is singular, then using the word "was" is correct. But it just does not sound right to me.


    Thanks for the help!
    Welcome!
    It doesn't sound right to me either, and I would go with what sounds right.
    I don't think one reads 'The minutes of the last meeting was.....'.

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