Difference between 'was' and 'were' in a sentence.




What is the difference between 'I'd wish I was in Shimla.' or 'I'd wish I were in Shimla.' Also, it would be really helpful if you could help explain the difference in usage between the two. 



Josna Joseph 

asked Jun 10 '13 at 12:28 Josna New member

4 answers


Shawn is absolutely correct -- we use "were" instead of "was" when the condition is impossible to come true (as in "If I were you,..."). Something else about your sentence, though: it should be "I wish... " and not "I'd (I would) wish..." :)

link answered Jun 10 '13 at 15:38 Elin Tomov Contributor

Elin, good catch! I totally missed that.

Shawn MooneyJun 10 '13 at 21:52

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Josna, great question!  Using were instead of was makes "being in Shimla" seem impossible or very unlikely.  Using was instead of were makes "being in Shimla" seem possible or something that easily could have happened (but didn't). I hope this helps.

link comment answered Jun 10 '13 at 12:37 Shawn Mooney Expert

Actually, whether you use "was" or "were" depends on the plurality of the subject. If the subject is plural you would say "were", but if the subject is single then use "was". Using the above example but this time relating it to a group of people, you wouldn't say, "I wish we was in Shimla." You would instead say, "I wish we were in Shimla." This is true regardless of the possibility of being in Shimla. However, for words like "everyone", "each", "none" etc. still use "was" because those words refer to each person as an individual, not as a group. 

link comment answered Sep 24 '15 at 16:57 Jonathan Poole New member

were and was is quit different. Like was and is its past tense and stuff...............

link comment answered Dec 11 '15 at 19:52 Sand Lin New member

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