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Is it “You were” or “You was?” (Correct Grammar + Examples)

Is it “you was” or “you were?” Which is correct? When saying something like, “You were part of the team that day?” Should someone use the word combination “you + was” or “you + were?” Learn the correct way to say something was in the past tense in this short American English guide.

You wereCorrect
You wasIncorrect

Is it “you were” or “you was?”

The correct phrase is “you were.” Starting a sentence or having a sentence with “you was” is grammatically incorrect. “You were” is the proper form of referring to the personal pronoun of “you” and referring to something that is in the past tense (the word “were”).

Sentences using “you were”

Here are sentences using the “you were” combination to better understand how it’s used in American English:

  • You were supposed to wake up early so you could let the dogs outside.
  • You were part of the team last week but you won’t be this week.
  • I knew you were going to let me down. This is very unfortunate.

Why is “you was” incorrect

When we think of combinations like “he was” or “she was” or even “they were,” we can see that the second person singular form of the verb “to be” is “were” rather than was.

While some personal pronouns (he/she) can have the combination of “was” in them, “you” is the only combination where we were “were” rather than “was.”


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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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