WAS or WERE – the really important grammar

Posted on Sep 16 2014 - 3:26am by Zdenda

As the word WAS is the ninth and WERE the 34th most frequent word in English it is crucial to use them correctly. You simply cannot avoid using these words, and if you make mistakes in these two words, people will think that you cannot speak English. For teachers it is important to teach this piece of grammar correctly and practise it a lot with their students.


In this post, I would love to teach these two words properly. You can find here a mind map to present this grammar, an MP3 drill recording where your students can practise the forms and two games which will test your or your students’ knowledge of the grammar. I hope it will work.

WAS WERE – mind map

Look at the mind map below and study the usage of the words WAS and WERE. I have tried to present the grammar a bit unusually and put WERE first. Moreover, I list a lot of subjects to give the students a chance to deduce their own rules.
was were mind map

WAS WERE – Drill

Play the following recording. After each subject there is a pause in which you should supply the correct form WAS of WERE. After this pause you will hear the correct form given by the native speaker. This recording is suitable for listening to in your car or on your mobile phone or iPod.

You can download the file by right-clicking on the following link

The verbs WAS and WERE drill – download

WAS WERE – Games

In the following quizzes you can test your knowledge of the grammar. The first quiz is in HTML5 and it will play on any mobile device. If you pass the test you will be able to play the game called TIC-TAC-TOE. The game is quite difficult, but believe me there is a way to win it. Can you find it?

If you want to play the game on the full screen click the button below:

WAS WERE – TIC TAC TOE full screen

The second game is in Flash and it will play just on your desktop. However, it is suitable for a classroom use, as the questions are short and there comes a short game after each question the students pass. The game is called A car race and it is quite popular with students.

If you want to play the game on the full screen click the button below:

WAS WERE – CAR RACE game – full screen

3 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. you are lol 13/10/2014 at 8:21 am -

    this is boring game lol and yolo

  2. Zdenda 14/10/2014 at 5:46 pm -

    Thanks for expressing your opinion. I will try to come up with a better game next time.

  3. yusuf 03/11/2014 at 3:51 pm -

    wonderful games ! thank you.

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