Where were we?

Where were we?, pic: (c) Tina Baumgartner

This are three homonyms (strictly speaking they are homophones but who wants to be so strict about these things?)

where – were- we’re

All sound pretty much the same but mean different things.  For me the most tricky couple when writing are where and were.  If one thinks about it, though, they are easy to keep apart.

Where – refers to place in sentences like:  “Where have you been?”  “I really can’t remember where I saw the nice sweater.”  “Where should we go for dinner tonight?”

Were – is a past tense form of “be” used with the “you”, “we”, “they”.  Examples:  “Were you at the movies last night?”  or “We were totally lost, it took us three hours to get back to the car” or “The kids were really happy by the beach”

We’re is a contraction of we are used mainly in spoken language but I still write it out now: “come on, hurry up, we’re late already”

As always one can makes things simpler or more difficult by trying to fit all three of them in one sentence:

“Sorry we’re late, we were lost and had now idea where we were.  It took us forever to get here.”


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