Difference WikiEnglishWords

Difference Between Where and Were

Main Difference

The main difference between Where and Were is that ‘Where’ is known as an adverb of time, whereas ‘Were’ is known to be used as a verb.

Where vs. Were

‘Where’ is known as an adverb of time. ‘Were’ is known as a verb. The term where rhymes with “hair.” The word ‘were’ rhymes with “stir.” Where contains five alphabets. ‘Were’ has four alphabets having one less alphabet than were. In the parts of speech, where is conjunction, pronoun, and adverb. Were is a verb according to the parts of speech, and used in past tenses. Where is not specified for any singular or plural nouns; on the other side, Were is determined to be used for plural subjects. ‘Where’ is a -wh question; on the contrary, ‘Were’ is referred to as the plural past word.

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Where is refer to the point of reference, location, any situation. “Were” is the plural past form of the verb “be.” “Where” is versatile, whereas “were” is less versatile. Where is dealing with the directions; on the other hand, Were is dealing with a past state of being. Where cannot work as a verb; on the other hand, Were works as a verb. The pronunciation of where is /wɛː/ having the ‘long e’ stress along with a gentle ‘h’ sound at the beginning. The pronunciation of Were is /wə/ accompanied by the ‘schwa sound.’

Comparison Chart

WhereWere
Where is an adverb of time.Were is the plural past form of the verb ‘be.’
Pronunciation
/wɛː//wə/
Rhymes With
Hair, there, ware, mareStir, fur, her
Alphabets
FiveFour
Refers To
A point of reference, location, any situationConditional statements, in the imaginary/ unrealistic situation
Parts of Speech
Conjunction, pronoun, and adverbVerb
Deals With
DirectionsPast state of be/being
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What is Where?

‘Where’ is known to be used as an adverb of time. It is an interrogative adverb and one of the -wh questions. It asks the question about any place, situation, location, and the like. In the parts of speech, Where is conjunction, pronoun, and adverb Where refers to the point of reference, location, any situation. ‘The pronunciation of Where is /wɛː/ and it is a monosyllabic word.

‘Where’ has different usage according to different contexts. Where directs to the point of reference along with the preposition ‘from.’ Examples are; Where is the train coming from? From where I stand, things are not going to work out yet.” Where refer to a destination, e.g., where are you going? Where refer to the location that can be of a person, event, or thing, e.g., Where is John? Where is the new restaurant? Moreover, Where sometimes conveys the meaning “in which.” E.g., There is not a single option left where you and I patch up.

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The term ‘Where’ is also used as a conjunction that gives the meaning of “in place/situation that…”e.g., where you buy the diary, you also buy the photo album. It works as a relative pronoun introducing a relative clause, e.g., The ground Where we used to play is now occupied by a building. The word Where rhymes with “hair, there, ware, mare, etc.” Where contains five alphabets. It is not specified for any singular or plural nouns.

Examples

  • Where is my wristwatch? (Adverb)
  • I live where the weather is always moderate. (Conjunction)
  • I went to a restaurant where I can have my favorite ice-cream. (Pronoun)

What is Were?

‘Were’ is known to be used as a verb. It is referred to as the plural past word. The pronunciation of ‘Were’ /wə/ accompanied by the ‘schwa sound.’ Were is a verb according to the parts of speech, and used in imaginary conditional statements. “Were” is the plural past form of the verb “be” specific to be used for plural subjects. The word ‘Were’ rhymes with “stir, fur, her, etc.”

“Were” is also used in the conditional statements in the imaginary/ unrealistic situation. In such cases, it can also be used with the singular subjects, e.g., If I were the president, I would give three day holiday for no reason. Were is referring to a state (past state of being). ‘Were’ has four alphabets. It is a monosyllabic word. ‘Were’ is a past verb form that is used for plural subjects. It is the past form of the word ‘are,’ and also of the word ‘was.’ Were indicates what happened in the past.

Examples

  • We were studying for the whole night long.
  • My parents were not willing to send me abroad.
  • The exchange students were sent to China, Australia, and America.
  • What were you doing yesterday that you didn’t come to my part?
  • This is the institute where I started my career.

Key Differences

  1. ‘Where’ is known as an adverb of time; on the other hand, ‘Were’ is known as a verb.
  2. Where is not specified for any singular or plural nouns; in contrast, Were is determined to be used for plural subjects.
  3. The word Where rhymes with “hair,” whereas the word ‘Were’ rhymes with “stir.”
  4. Where contains five alphabets; on the flip side, ‘Were’ has four alphabets.
  5. ‘Where’ is a -wh question; on the contrary, ‘Were’ is referred to as the plural past word.
  6. Where is dealing with the directions on the converse Were is dealing with a past state of being.
  7. “Where” is versatile; inversely, “Were” is less versatile.
  8. Where cannot work as a verb. Were works as a verb.
  9. The pronunciation of Where is /wɛː/, while the pronunciation of Were is /wə/.

Comparison Video

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Conclusion

‘Where’ and ‘Were’ are the homophones in the English language, so it can be confusing to distinguish between the two. This article explains that there is a difference between these two terms based on their parts of speech, spelling, pronunciation, and usage.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson