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

5 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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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

if this was a real instrument

link comment answered Feb 20 '16 at 11:37 Donna Mosello New member

I was studying this and found out that when the statement is hyperthetical, for example, using if before the statement, then "were" is the correct grammer to use even if the subject and noun is singilar.
If i were a bird i would fly.
If you were not confuse by now i would not be surprise.

This is also the same for you singular and plural. Talk about complicated.
You were late.
They were late.
She was late.
Both of them were late.
All of you were late.

There seems to be some exception with these rule.

link comment answered Jun 25 '16 at 09:32 Tinah Francis 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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