There was a couple of months that were really stressful

There were a couple of months that were really stressful

Which one sounds better? Are they both acceptable?

1 Answer 1


You might think there is the subject of the sentence, but it's not -- this construct is a special case and here, the subject comes after the verb (reference).

Was is the singular past tense of be, and were is the plural past tense form of be. Since months is actually the subject, you would use were.

  • 2
    That said, you will often hear native speakers of American English say "There was a couple of..." or "There was a few..." or something similar if they're speaking informally.
    – stangdon
    Nov 3, 2015 at 15:20
  • I wonder how you consider 'a couple' singular or plural.Oxforddictionaries. com consider it to be plural. Then using 'was' should be incorrect, shouldn't it?
    – V.V.
    Nov 3, 2015 at 20:37
  • @stangdon it is indeed an AE native speaker. The comment helped a lot, thanks.
    – Barbara
    Nov 4, 2015 at 0:08

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