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Recently I read about someone struggling with was and were. I’m guessing she wasn’t having trouble with simple singular and plural:
Perhaps her trouble was with the more complex versions, such as:
But it gets more complicated when we are speculating:
So where do we go when we need help with grammatical issues like this?
One of my go to sources is the book Errors in English and Ways to Correct Them by Harry Shaw. It has a great index to find what you need and is easy to understand. I remember catching one of my daughters simply reading sections of the book for fun.
But when my cat is in my lap and I can’t reach my book shelf, but have my laptop, I go to the Internet.
One of my favorite sites is Grammar Girl. Check out what she has to say about the subjunctive mood with was and were.
She also has a book out called Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips For Better Writing. You can check it out here along with her other books.
I also like the site Guide to Grammar and Writing. It has drop down menus where you can choose different levels, such as word or sentence or paragraph. For example with was/were, I’d first choose “word & sentence,” “verbs,” then “the verb to be.” There I’d find instruction. In some topics, after instruction there are tests to take so I could test myself. I direct students to this site if I’ve explained run-on sentences and had them read a resource, but still they don’t get it. Here’s where I send them.
If students continue to have trouble with run-ons, then I refer them here. My English Teacher also offers a quiz after explaining. You can see what other lessons they have covered by following this link.
What are your favorite grammar resources?
SM Ford writes inspirational fiction for adults, although teens may find the stories of interest, too. She also loves assisting other writers on their journeys.