Grammar 2-07 | False Beginner | CEFR A1

Past Tense - Be (Was, Were)

Listen to four conversations in the past tense.

Conversation 1

Man: How was the movie?
Woman: It was really good.
Man: Was it scary?
Woman: Yes, it was really scary.
Man: Nice. Was it crowded?
Woman: No, it wasn’t. There weren’t many people there, suprisingly.

Conversation 2

Man: Where were you last night?
Woman: I was at work.
Man: Really? I was at your shop. You weren’t there.
Woman: No, I was in the back working.
Man: You were?
Woman: Really! I was there.

Conversation 3

Man: How was the test?
Woman: It was really hard.
Man: How long was it?
Woman: There were about 20 problems.
Man: Yeah! What was your score?
Woman: Let’s just say, it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either.

Conversation 4

Man: Do you know who was at the party?
Woman: Jason was there. So was Sue.
Man: Were Tom and Katie there?
Woman: No, they weren’t there, but their son was.
Man: Oh, I see. So, was it fun?
Woman: Yeah, it was a fun evening.

Past Tense (Be) - Grammar Notes

Point 1: There are two forms of the past tense Be verbs: was and were.
  1. I was late. I was not on time.
  2. You were right. You were not wrong.
  3. It was cold. It was not warm.
  4. He was mad. He was not happy.
  5. She was early. She was not late.
  6. They were funny. They were not boring.
  7. We were busy. We were not idle.
Point 2: Speakers use contractions wasn't (was not) and weren't (were not) often in spoken English.
  1. She wasn't happy.
  2. It wasn't a fun evening.
  3. He wasn't a fun teacher.
  4. You weren't there.
  5. They weren't hungry.
  6. We weren't at the game.
Point 3: Both was and were are sometimes are hard to hear because they are reduced and not clearly spoken.
  1. He was mad.
  2. It was hard to do.
  3. They were there.
  4. We were in class.
Point 4: In questions, pronouns and was and were become one blurred sound.
  • Where was he?
  • He was outside.
  • Was she on time?
  • No, she was late.
  • I heard something. What was it?
  • It was just the wind.
Answer the following questions about the interview.