Learn English Grammar Online - The past


Forms of the verb "To be"

To be is the most common verb in the English language. It can be used as an auxiliary or a main verb. In the simple past tense, to be is conjugated as follows:

Singular = 1 Plural = 1+
I was You were
You were We were
He/she/it was They were



Question ? Positive Statement +
Negative Statement -
  Singular Written Form or spoken for emphasis
Written Form or spoken for emphasis
Form (spoken)


Were Was
Question - ? "Were you busy on Monday?" "Was it nice at the weekend?"
Positive Answer + Yes "Yes we were." "Yes it was. It was lovely."
Negative Answer - No "No we weren't." "No it wasn't. It wasn't very nice at all."

Want to know more about the use of verbs? Read our recommended grammar books section.

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