To be (was, were) in past tense

Positive forms

I was

You were

He was

She was

It was

We were

They were


I was a shop assistant.

You were a cook.

He was a teacher.

She was a nurse.

It was nice weather yesterday.

We were married.

They were on holiday in the US.

Negative forms

I wasn’t (was not)

You weren’t (were not)

He wasn’t

She wasn’t

It wasn’t

We weren’t

They weren’t


I wasn’t (was not) at home last night.

You weren’t (were not) on holiday in Spain last year.

He wasn’t happy about the football score last Sunday.

She wasn’t sad about the loss of her old coat.

It wasn’t very nice weather last weekend.

We weren’t at work on Saturday.

They weren’t busy at work all of last week.

Question forms

Was I…………?

Were you……..?

Was he……..?

Was she…….?

Was it……….?

Were we…..?

Were they….?

Examples of questions and answers:

Were you at work last week? Yes, I was.

Were you busy on Monday? No, I wasn’t (was not).

Was he out last night? Yes, he was.

Was he happy with his test results? No, he wasn’t.

Was she good at maths at school? Yes, she was.

Was she ill last winter? No, she wasn’t.

Was it OK? No, it wasn’t.

Were we at home on Sunday? Yes, we were.

Were we in Spain in summer? No, we weren’t (were not).

Were they married before? Yes, they were.

Were they on holiday last month? No, they weren’t.

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