Is it possible to use was with simple past. for example: "I was worried about it" Does it have any grammatical error.

Is it same as "I worried about it".

  • 1
    Both are correct. Without further context they mean the same thing to me.
    – None
    Jan 27 '14 at 8:51
  • Perhaps you're confused by the active and passive voices. "I worried about it." is in active voice; whereas "I was worried about it." is in passive voice. I wrote about the confusion that might be caused by the usage of passive voice in the simple past tense once. See ell.stackexchange.com/a/16399/3281. Jan 27 '14 at 9:43
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    @DamkerngT. I think worried in that example is deverbal, no longer a verb but an adjective. I don't think I'd count it as a passive.
    – user230
    Jan 27 '14 at 10:51
  • 1
    You're absolutely right. I keep forgetting that many of them might look like passive, but actually they are adjectives. Thank you. Jan 27 '14 at 10:55

In the sentence "I worried", worried is verb.

And in "I was worried", worried is adjective.

Was can be used in Simple Past when:

  • the sentence is used to describe past facts or generalizations which are no longer true. e.g.

    She was shy as a child.


  • 'was' is used in a passive voice. e.g.

    The car was washed by Tom.

The sentence "I was worried about it" falls in the former category.

  • I would say there's some kind of duration implied by I worried about it too, whereas I was worried is talking about a moment in time (which could be of longer duration, but also might not be). Jan 27 '14 at 10:43

It is not possible to use "was" with the simple past. It is possible to use "was" with the so-called past participle. In the sentence "I was worried about it", the "worried" is the past participle form.

For most verbs in English, the past tense form and the past participle form are identical. There are, however, a number of irregular verbs where these two forms are quite distinct. For example, the past tense form of to do is did, but the past participle form is done.

I did
I was did
I was done

There is no error in "I worried about it." There is no error in "I was worried about it." With that particular verb, there happens to be almost no difference in meaning. With most verbs (like to do) there will be a noticeable difference in meaning between those two different constructions, although both constructions will be meaningful.

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