Was vs were


I need to know the grammar term for the situation in which you use the plural form of "was" when speaking about a singular noun but in either a conditional case or state something about the subject that is false, e.g.

John WAS absent

If John WERE here . . .

I know there is a name for this but i have forgotten what it is. Something like conditional case. Anybody know?

asked Mar 06 '14 at 23:33 Bruce LaFleur New member

1 answer


You're thinking of the subjunctive mood.  A search will turn up reams of information.

link answered Mar 07 '14 at 01:43 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Yes. that is it. Thank you so much.

Bruce LaFleurMar 07 '14 at 15:10

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