I've always learnt at school that we have to say: "You were + (add something)" either if the "you" is actually one person or more. But sometimes I heard or read "You was + (add something)" especially in some video games.

I remember that I saw it in a custom mod on Final Fantasy 7 on PC for example. But I've even heard some people say it, but those people were friendly between them.

I can't remember the sentence from FF7, but the words of the sentence were pretty much mashed. An example here though: "You was behind us the whole time". That sentence was said by a nice, yet random guy from an online game, I asked him if that was correct to say that, he said yes (but I wanted to confirm that).

So I was wondering if that is correct? Or is it a kind of a common -I would say- speaking mistake?


1 Answer 1


There are many dialects in English. In some dialects, "you was..." is used.

Here is an example, the song "You was right, baby." (YouTube)


you said someday you’d turn the tide,
and i’d be laughin’ on the other side,
and you was right, baby,
baby, you was so right!

you said someday the worm would turn,
i had some lessons that i had to learn,
and you was right, baby,
baby, you was so right!

(Metro Lyrics)

Your school teachers were probably teaching you the dialect called standard English, according to which you was... is not considered correct.

  • 2
    Oh I see... I will do some research about the dialects you mentioned. It's too bad that we weren't sensitized about that at school. Anyway, thank you for your answer :-)
    – Aynath
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 11:04
  • 1
    It's a dialect, but it's also just plain wrong. You should never use this in formal speech or writing. Informally you can get away with it, but then, you can get away with a lot of things if you start talking about dialects. "You ain't using them words right" may be something you'd hear in a dialect, but it's still wrong (so very wrong).
    – JamieB
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 14:25
  • 5
    @JamieB it's not "wrong"; it's merely non-standard. Different dialects of English are still perfectly valid constructions because they convey the necessary meaning. Look into AAE (African-American English) for more info, but any linguist worth their salt would tell you to leave opinionated prescriptivism out. Use "not standard" instead of "wrong" in the future, please. Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 17:17
  • you was wrong is wrong in standard English eventhough it is used in cerain dialects Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 0:48

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