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I was wondering which one is grammatically correct and why?

I got corrected when I said the following "wasn't you singing this song the other day" from wasn't to weren't.

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  • I close-voted for lack of research, but I just searched this site and found similar questions, so I think that it's a duplicate too. Jun 12 at 23:57
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    This is basic verb conjugation. You were. Am I missing something?
    – cruthers
    Jun 13 at 1:16
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    Hello and welcome to ELL!!! To improve your chances of getting a good answer, and avoid being closed or deleted, please read this article about how to ask a good question! Your question is obviously lack of research, which is written in the first section of the article I included. I've downvoted and flagged your post. Please read that article, thanks!
    – Eden0516
    Jun 13 at 12:09

4 Answers 4

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All Standard Englishes, as far as I know, require were with you, always.

Many non-standard dialects allow you was, so you may encounter it in books and films.

This applies to negation and questions as well.

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In this sentence, "Weren't you singing ...?", "you" is the subject and "were" is the verb. The word "you" requires "were", not "was". The standard pattern is:

 Singular       Plural
 --------       ------
 I was          We were
 You were       You were
 He/she/it was  They were

In English, "you" is used for both singular and plural, but in either case takes the verb "were".

I see how this can be confusing, though. If you say, "It was you", we use "was", because "it" requires the verb "was". Or as a question, "Was it you who was singing ..."

The trick is to pick out what the subject is.

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The correct question is either:

Were you singing.........?
or, phrased negatively
Were you not singing......? (Weren't you singing?)

However, one could also ask:

Was it you singing.....?
or
Was it not you singing....?? (Wasn't it you singing?)

where the construction is: Was it (not)....

But you can't say:

Wasn't you doing whatever....
or
You wasn't doing whatever....

where the verb directly precedes or follows you in a question.
You always requires the plural were.
You were singing and Were you (not) singing.

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that is a good question.

I put it in to full text:

Wasn't = Was not you singing this song the other day?

Wern't = Were not you singing this song the other day?

Which one sounds better?

Were VERB second person singular past, plural past, and past subjunctive of be.

Was it not you singing this song the other day =

Was VERB first and third person singular past of be.

So = It would be:

Were not you singing this song the other day?

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    "Which one sounds better?" is an utterly unhelpful remark in almost any answer on this site, because "sounds better" is either subjective, or depends on internalised rules of the grammar. Additionally Were not you singing sounds awful, as it is not idiomatic in current English.
    – Colin Fine
    Jun 12 at 23:46
  • "that is a good question" - Do you know what is a good question?
    – Eden0516
    Jun 13 at 12:15

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