Examples of Helping Verbs (Use of “Was, Were”)

In English grammar, helping verbs are used to indicate the sense of a tense that either the sentence is affirmative, negative or form a question. Here some examples of helping verbs by showing the use of was and were has been discussed.


  1. When singular subject is present in a sentence, we use “was” and for plural subject, we use “were”
  2. In a negative sentence, we use “not” after “was and were”
  3. In a sentence, when there is indication about “time” & “weather”, we use “it” as a subject
  4. In interrogative sentences, we use “was & were” in beginning of the sentence and after that “subject” is used.
  5. While making interrogative sentence, use “?” at the end of sentence.

           The table given below shows the use of helping verbs with nouns and pronouns:

I was

You were

She was

Anna was

We were

He was

It was

They were

Note: Use “was” with singular name like John, Maria, Anna

Use “were” with plural names like John and Maria, Anna and  John

Affirmative Sentences

  1. He was very rich.
  2. I was tired.
  3. The fish was not in the basket.
  4. You were present yesterday.
  5. It was an elephant.
  6. They were jokers.
  7. We were poor
  8. I was a student.
  9. He was a driver.
  10. We were going there.
  11. You were a thief.
  12. He was a criminal.
  13. John and Maria were friends.
  14. They were best friends
  15. I was a guard in this company.

Negative Sentences

  1. He was not rich.
  2. It was not a dog.
  3. They were not students.
  4. You were not poor.
  5. It was not an elephant.
  6. She was not doctor.
  7. I was not fool.
  8. He was not a thief.
  9. Johan and Maria were not friends.
  10. I was not sleeping.
  11. The Clock was not out of order.
  12. The ships were not grazing in the ground.
  13. He was not having a milk bottle.
  14. You were not a good driver.
  15. I was not a good swimmer.

Interrogative Sentences

  1. Were the grapes sour?
  2. Was the book on the table?
  3. Was your brother ill yesterday?
  4. Was Keats a great poet?
  5. Were they students?
  6. Was he a teacher?
  7. Were they poor?
  8. Were you a good driver?
  9. Was I a good swimmer?
  10. Were John and Maria gone?
  11. Was I sleeping?
  12. Were they best friends?
  13. Was the fish in the basket?
  14. Were you present yesterday?
  15. Was he criminal?

Was, Were Worksheet

  1. John _____________ a nice person.       (was)
  2. Rooms _________ were airy.                 (were)
  3. We _______ brave.                                (were) 
  4. She _________ a nurse.                          (was)
  5. They _________ students.                     (were)
  6. He _________ happy.                             (was)
  7. It _________ very cold.                          (was)
  8. She _______ angry.                               (was)
  9. Our cities _______ clean                       (were)
  10. You ________ going there.                    (were)
  11. I _______ a good student.                     (was)
  12. You ______ a good swimmer.               (were)
  13. The fish _________ in the basket.           (was)
  14. He __________ a teacher.                      (was)
  15. I ________ a police man.                       (was) 

Q No.2: Change into negative:


He was at home

 He was not at home.


He was a gentle man

 He was not a gentleman.


They were students

 They were not students.


She was a nurse

 She was not a nurse.


I was a boy

 I was not a boy.


It was a dark night

 It was not a dark night.


I was alone at home.

 I was not alone at home.


Q No.2: Change into interrogative:


You were brave

 Were you brave?


Anna was a rich lady

 Was Anna a rich lady?


This book was mine

 Was this book mine?


We were in the bus

 Were we in the bus?


It was a cow

 Was it a cow?


They were students

 Were they students?


It was a cold morning

 Was it a cold morning?

Download: Was, Were Worksheet

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