Is vs. Was In English Grammar

Difference Between Is and Was In English Grammar

Both the verbs ‘is’ and ‘was’ are of different tenses that indicate the state ‘to be’. However while ‘is’ is in the present tense ‘was’ is in the past tense. ‘Is’ is used in the present continuous tense. E.g. “Ron is eating his breakfast”. However ‘was’ is used in the past continuous tense e.g.“Alex was driving back home”.

Both is and was -being auxiliary verbs have different plural forms, like ‘are’ and ‘were’ respectively.

‘Is’ provides description for any action that is happening at the time of speaking. But ‘was’ describes anything that already happened before the time of speaking. Let us have examples

1)     “He is eating his breakfast”. Here ‘is’ indicates the action of eating; which is still going on at the time of speaking.

2)     “Sara was doing assignments” Here ‘was’ indicates “doing assignments” that was already done before the time of speaking.

The verb ‘is’ describes quality, color and the identity of a person.

Let us have examples

1. He is quite agile. (Describes quality)

2. He is fair as far as skin tone is concerned. (Describes color)

3. He is Raphael. (Describes identity)

‘Was’ indicates to a quality that was once present but not anymore. E.g.  “Sammy was sick then”. The sentence means that Sammy is not sick anymore.


Category: VS  |  Tags: