was or without was
1) John saw his neighbour was struggling in the river.
John saw his neighbour struggling in the river.
2) He heard someone screaming for help.
He heard someone was screaming for help.
In #1, both sentences have the same meaning but in most contexts your second sentence would be more concise and natural.
In #2, the 2 sentences have very different meanings. He heard someone screaming for help means that he heard the screams with his own ears. He heard someone was screaming for help means that he was told about the screaming person; he did NOT hear the screams himself.
I hope this helps.
|link||answered May 04 '13 at 10:10 Shawn Mooney Expert|