When Do We Use “I Were” Instead Of “I Was”

I was home all day yesterday and heard a lot of noise coming from my neighbor’s house. It seems like they are having some work done there. If I were them, I would ask the carpenter to not make noise on a Sunday. I wish I were braver, because if I were, I would have gone over there and yelled at them!

For today’s free English Lesson, I’m going to show you some special cases when we use “I were” instead of the usual “I was.”. Have a look at the paragraph above once more and then check the lesson.

I am sure you know how to form and use the past tense of the “be” verb. We use was for singular subjects, and were for plural subjects, like this:

  • I was at home all day yesterday. ←Singular subject
  • The pen was on the table. ←Singular subject
  • We were at home all day yesterday. ←Plural subject
  • The pens were on the table. ←Plural subject

However, there are two basic exceptions to this rule. The first is after “if” in a conditional sentence. After “if”, we use were:

  • If I were taller, I would be a better basketball player. Not, If I was taller….
  • If Jack were here, he could fix the computer for us. Not, If Jack was here….
  • If I were you, I would quit that job and get a better one.

As well, we use were after “wish”:

  • I wish I were taller.
  • I wish Jack were here to fix the computer.
  • I wish I were good at sports!

Well, I hope you found this lesson helpful. How about writing a few sentences using If I were or If I was in the comment box below? I’ll review them for you!

If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

 



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How To Use Go & Come + And + Verb – English Grammar Lesson

How To Use Go & Come + And + Verb - English Grammar Lesson

I invited him to stay and have a cup of coffee.

I’ve been thinking about buying a new computer, so after work today I think I’ll go and see what they have at the electronic shop near my office. My friend Yalcin came and visited me this morning and said the shop was having a sale. Yalcin lives in Turkey, but he’s visiting New York this week. When he came this morning, I invited him to stay and have a cup of coffee. We had a fun time catching up with each other.

For today’s free English lesson, I’m going to show you how we connect verbs like go, come, and stay with other verbs using and. Have a look at the paragraph above once more and then check the lesson.

We use verbs that show movement (like go, come, and stay) followed by and verb in informal English. The basic pattern is verb 1 + and + verb 2. Verb 1 is the verb of movement, and verb 2 is another verb which generally shows the reason or purpose of the movement. The connecting word and has the meaning of in order to. For example, go and see means to go somewhere in order to see something:

  • I think I’ll go and see what they have at the electronic shop.
  • My friend Yalcin always comes and visits me when he is in New York.
  • I invited him to stay and have a cup of coffee.

It’s also possible to use the past or future forms of the verbs:

  • Jane stayed and took care of me when I was sick.
  • He came and visited me this morning.
  • I’m going and seeing what they have on sale at the store.

In American English, we usually omit and when we use come and go:

  • I think I’ll go see what they have at the electronic shop.
  • Why don’t you come visit me when you are in New York?
  • I’m going to go buy coffee after work.

What are you going to go do today? Why not try writing a few sentences using this grammar in the comment box below? I’ll review them for you!

If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

 



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Simple Past vs. Present Perfect – American vs. British English – Grammar Lesson

Simple Past vs. Present Perfect - American vs. British English

I lost my wallet. I have looked everywhere for it, but I can’t find it. This is not the first time this has happened. I often lose things. I’ve lost keys, wallets, I even lost a new camera on a train! I don’t know why I’m so forgetful.

Today, I want to show you the difference between American English and British English when it comes to using the present perfect tense. Do you know the difference? Have a look at the paragraph one more time then check out this lesson.

Strictly speaking, we use the present perfect tense to talk about an action that happened in the past and has a connection to the present time. Take a look at this Happy English lesson for a deeper explanation of the present perfect tense As you know, present perfect tense is formed by using have + the PP Verb (past participle):

  • I’ve lost my wallet. I still do not know where my wallet is.
  • I’ve missed the bus, so I’m going to be late for the meeting.

In British English, only the present perfect tense is used in situations where an action that occurred in the recent past that has some effect on the present. In American English, however, it is more common to use the simple past in these cases. I believe this is because the focus of the sentence is on the action itself, not on the relationship between the action and the present time. Thus, these two sentences are acceptable in American English:

  • I lost my wallet.
  • I missed the bus, so I’m going to be late for the meeting.

In addition, we can use already, just and yet with the simple past or present perfect in American English. In British English, only present perfect tense can be use with already, just and yet:

  • I just finished work (or) I’ve just finished work.
  • I already ate, so I’m not hungry (or) I’ve already eaten, so I’m not hungry.
  • I didn’t see that movie yet, so don’t tell me the ending (or) I haven’t seen that movie yet

The biggest difference between American and British English is in the vocabulary, but this is one of the grammatical differences between the two.
If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!



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