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Subject-verb agreement can be a tricky grammar concept to master. Not only do you need to understand the basic rules of noun-verb agreement, but you also need to be able to apply them correctly in different situations. One area that often stumps writers is deciding whether to use “was” or “were” in a sentence. In this article, we’ll provide a worksheet to help you practice this important grammar skill.

First, let’s review the basic rules of subject-verb agreement. In general, a singular subject (i.e. one person, thing, or idea) should be paired with a singular verb form (i.e. “is” or “was”). On the other hand, a plural subject (i.e. two or more people, things, or ideas) should be paired with a plural verb form (i.e. “are” or “were”).

So, when should you use “was” versus “were”? Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

– If the subject is singular (i.e. one person, thing, or idea), use “was.” For example, “The cat was sleeping on the couch.”

– If the subject is plural (i.e. two or more people, things, or ideas), use “were.” For example, “The cats were sleeping on the couch.”

Things get a bit more complicated when dealing with compound subjects (subjects made up of multiple nouns or pronouns connected with “and”) and subjunctives (hypothetical situations or wishes). In these cases, consider the following tips:

– For compound subjects joined by “and,” use “were” if both subjects are plural. For example, “The dog and the cat were playing in the yard.” If one subject is singular and one is plural, use the verb form that matches the subject closest to the verb. For example, “The cat and the kittens were napping” (because “kittens” is plural).

– For hypothetical situations or wishes, use “were” even if the subject is singular. For example, “If I were a bird, I would fly south for the winter.”

Now that you’ve reviewed the rules, it’s time to put them to the test. Here’s a worksheet with 10 sentences where you’ll need to choose between “was” or “were.” Check your answers at the end of the article.

1. The flowers in the garden (was/were) wilting in the heat.

2. My sister and I (was/were) planning a vacation to Hawaii.

3. The book on the shelf (was/were) written by my favorite author.

4. The cookies in the jar (was/were) freshly baked this morning.

5. The moon and the stars (was/were) shining brightly in the sky.

6. If I (was/were) rich, I’d buy a yacht and sail around the world.

7. The baby bird in the nest (was/were) chirping loudly for its mother.

8. The students in the classroom (was/were) studying for their upcoming exam.

9. The daisies and the roses (was/were) blooming in the garden.

10. If he (was/were) here, he’d help us fix the car.


1. were

2. were

3. was

4. were

5. were

6. were

7. was

8. were

9. were

10. were

By practicing this worksheet, you’ll gain confidence in using “was” and “were” correctly in your writing. Remember to pay attention to the singular or plural nature of the subject, and keep in mind any compound subjects or subjunctive moods. With time and practice, you’ll become a pro at subject-verb agreement.

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