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Friday Message: Was or wasn't, that is the question.

ABA English: Friday Message |

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ABA English: Friday Message |
Friday Message

Questions with "to Be"
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Beginners - Unit 8

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In today’s lesson we are going to look at the verb “to be” in the past and how it is used in questions and answers.

Let’s look at a dialogue between a mum (M) and her son (S) about their days.

M: How was your day at school?
S: Fine thanks, Mum. Was your day good?
M: Yes, it was. I went shopping and had a coffee with my friend Susan.
S: Wasn’t she supposed to come round for dinner tonight?
M: Yes, she was but she had to cancel because she is not feeling well. Were you busy at school today?
S: Yes, I was. We have a lot to do before the end of the year.
M: Were all your friends there today too?
S: No, they weren’t because most of the class went on a science trip so just a few of us were at school.

Here are some of the important rules to remember when using “was” or “were” in the past simple:

• To form questions we change the position of “was” or “were” and the subject around, for example:

Were you busy at school today?

• With questions containing the question words “which”, “when”, “where”, “why”, “how”, etc, “was” or “were” just follow the question word. For example:

How was your day at school?

• “Was” or “were” may be used in short answers.

For example, the possible short answers to the question “Were all your friends there today too?” are:

- Yes, they were.
- No, they weren’t / No, they were not (para enfatizar)

I hope this has been helpful for you. Remember that for more information on this topic, you can have a look at unit 63 of the ABA online course.

See you soon!

Have a nice weekend.

Graham Weeks

Your ABA Teacher
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