where we were

Because they have similar spellings, the terms “were,” “we’re,” and “there” are often mistaken. sounds and spellings. They are not homophones —words that have the same sounds or spellings—and their meanings and uses are quite different. “Were” (rhymes with “fur”) is a past form of the verb “to be.” We are is shortened to “we’re” (which rhymes with “fear”). The adverb and conjunction “where” (rhymes with “hair”) refers to a place.

How to Use Were

Use “were” as a past tense verb , as the:

  • “Be” in the first person plural (We “were” busy last week.)
  • Singular and multiple forms of the second person “be” (You “were” busy last week.)
  • (They “were” busy last week.) Third-person singular of “be.”
  • Subjunctive for all people to “be” (If I “were” you, I’d ask for a raise.)

How to Use We’re

Simply use “we’re” when you wish to write or pronounce a shorter form of the first-person plural since it is a contraction for “we are” and, in rarer circumstances, “we were.” pronoun “we” and to be verb “are.” The apostrophe replaces letter “a” (for “we are”) or the letters “we” (for “we were, though that use is much less common). For instance:

  • “We’re” going back to work tomorrow.

You are stating: “We are” returning to work tomorrow in this fully acceptable English phrase.

How to Use Where

Use the adverb “where” to describe a place, as in:

  • I don’t know “where” you live.

Here, the writer is stating that she does not know “where” (at what place or location) the listener or reader lives. This phrase is often used to begin a query, as in:

  • “Where” do you live?

The speaker is attempting to determine where the listener or reader resides in the statement. Often, the person speaking (or even writing, as in a letter or email), is trying to find the exact address where the person resides.

How to Remember the Differences

Try the word “we are” in place of “were” to see the difference between the two. If it works, you know you can use “we’re. ” If it doesn’t, “were” is required. For instance, consider the following:

  • “We’re” going to the movies.

The following line would still make sense if “we are” were substituted for “we are”:

  • “We are” going to the movies.

The following line does not make sense if “were” is substituted for “we are”

  • “Were” going to the movies.

Your ear could alert you that the phrase is incomplete if you read it aloud. Yes, it does: You are missing a subject since “were” is a past tense of “to be.” If the word “we” were added, the following phrase would be valid:

  • We “were” going to the movies.

When attempting to distinguish between “were,” “we’re,” and “is,” where In contrast to “where,” which always refers to a place, keep in mind that “were” and “we’re” are both “to be” verbs, or at least include one. Use the words as a conclusion to each sentence like in:

  • You live “were?” (This is the past form of “are.”)
  • You reside in “we’re” (This actually means: You live “we are?”)

These two applications are both absurd. However, if you say:

  • You live “where?”

That sentence works, because you are ending the sentence with the location word, “where.” In order to make things clearer, replace “where” with a location:

  • You live in California?
  • You live upstairs?
  • You live in Europe?
  • You live where?

By keeping in mind this method, you won’t ever mistake “where” for “were” and “we’re.”


Apply the aforementioned guidelines and techniques to construct sentences that make up a concise narrative to grasp instances.

  • We’re  going to Savannah for St. Patrick’s Day.

This statement indicates that “we are” traveling to Savannah. The word “we’re” contains the subject of the sentence, “we,” as well as a verb “are.”

  • But, we don’t know  where  we’ll be staying.

In this case, the term “where” refers to a location—or more specifically, the lack of a location. The author or speaker is unsure of where his group will be lodging.

  • Last year we  were  forced to sleep in the van.

In this sentence, the speaker describes a past action—last year—when the group (sans a location to stay) had to sleep in a vehicle. The last phrase of this little tale, which also uses all three phrases, is as follows:

  • We were lost in the middle of Timbuktu. No one knew where we were . Next time we travel, we’re going to bring along a map.

The group (in the past) was lost in the first bolded word. Consequently, nobody was aware of “where” (i.e., our position) (past tense of “are”). Returning to the present, the author states that “we’re” (we are) going to bring a map in the future.


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