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Language Precision: The Difference Between ‘Is’ and ‘Was

Language Precision: The Difference Between ‘Is’ and ‘Was

Language is the basic essence of brotherhood. People speaking the same language are more likely to become friends than people who speak a different language. We are living in the 21st century, and the world has revolutionized quite a lot.

In this world, with a population of more than 7 billion approximately, there are more than 7,100 languages usually spoken all over the world English is the most popular and widely used language.

Grammar is the proper way of arranging words into appropriate sentences. English basically some sort of rule to understand the language. It includes nouns, verbs, tenses, adverbs, etc.

The words “is” and “was” are types of auxiliary verbs. “Is” denotes the present tense of the verb “to be”, whereas “was” is the past tense of the verb “to be”.

The difference between “is” and “was” is discussed extensively in this article. So, let’s jump in.

“Is” And “Was”

The English language has so many capabilities, which include a wide variety of pronunciations, grammar, nouns, adjectives, speeches, synonyms, antonyms, tenses, superlative degrees, etc., to make you sound perfectly linguistically capable and robust.

The use of correct tenses is much more important because it is a way to have great, deep, and knowledgeable exposure. Tenses have done a wonderful job in the English language and its other dialects. Tenses were a miracle when they were founded by Joseph Priestley. He initially proposed the idea of two tenses, past and present.

He supposed that the present indefinite could also be sometimes used as the future simple tense. In modern English, linguists tend to see two tenses: the past and the present.

Watch this video to know more about the differences between “is” and “was”

Some people are still in denial about the acceptance of future tense as according to them something which hasn’t happened yet cannot be described but against them, the more powerful theory says that by using future tense we can only make predictions for the future which is the only thing for future that can be done. 

Uses of Tenses

In grammar, tense is the time of a verb’s action or its state of being, such as present (something that’s happening right now), past (something that has already happened earlier), or future (something that is going to happen); these are called the verbs’ time frames. 

For instance, we will consider the following examples:

  • I walk. (present)
  • I walked. (past)
  • I will walk. (future)

There are a total of 12 tenses used in the modern English language. Through the use of tenses, our experience of communication (whether verbally or written) will become versatile and rich in composition and comprehension.

Tense is the time of Verb's action
Tense is the time of a verb’s action

Tenses are an essential part of English. Not only has it changed the way of speaking but it has made it a lot easier in understanding the time frame a person is talking about.

Distinguishing Features Between “Is” and “Was”

Tense “Is” represents the present tense. The present tense is defined as something happening at the current moment. It is defined as if the task is being given away at the moment. “Was” represents the past tense.  Past tense is best to describe something which has already happened or taken place in history. It is defined as if the task has already been done.
Indications Known as a state of being a verb, it does not express any specific activity or action but instead, describes existence. The most common state of being a verb is to be along with its conjunctions.It is the singular past tense of “to be”; it indicates the sentence and identifies it as the past tense sentence. The singular helping verb is used in past tense against “were.”
RepresentationIndicates the singularity of the noun along with it being present tensePoints in direction of the singularity of a noun but which was in the past tense
UseUsed in the present tense as the helping verb for singular in the present tenseUsed in the past tense as the helping verb for singular in past tenses
Time frameRepresents the present time zone (anything happening at the moment) or in front of one’s eye is present and is indicated by “is”Points in the direction of the past (anything that happened in history) whether a minute late or a decade are known as the past and are defined by “was”
Examples The best example and the simplest is:
He is running to catch the bus.
She is kneading the dough.
Let’s consider an example for better demonstration:
She was getting ready for school.
She was making lovely bread.
“Is” vs. “Was”

Supplementary Helping Verbs

Present Tense

  • The present tense defines the current moment of one’s life that is happening in front of him.
  • Is” is the ultimate helping verb in the present tense, but it is followed by its two companies, “am” and “are.”
  • The use of “am” is simple: it is used and placed with “I“, whether for “he” or “she“.
  • Are” possesses the use when the collective context is being pointed out or discussed.
  • These three are the main helping verbs of the present indefinite tense.
  • The present perfect tense uses the helping verbs “has” and “have“. Similarly, if we add “-ing“ in their verbs, it will become the continuous type of present tense, which will become present perfect continuous by the admission of “been”.

Past Tense

  • If we pour some light on the past tense, we will discover some of the same rules but with a different set of helping words.
  • “Was” defines the singularity of the noun and it is partnered with its plural form “were,” which usually defines the plurality of nouns.
  • In past perfect, we use “had“; and if we enlighten past perfect continuous, we use “-ing,” “had been” and verb to make the sentence along with subject and object.

Further Examples Regarding Present and Past Tenses

We use both present and past tenses in daily life; we use tenses to convey our message to other people.

Some of the sentences using “is” and “was” are as follows:

He is going to school.

She was coming back from school.

They are playing cricket.

We were enjoying the scenery.

She was soaked due to the heavy rain.

Past tense is something that has already happened or taken place in history
Past tense is something that has already happened or taken place in history

These are just the highlights of the unseen treasure of English grammar. There are billions of examples and sentences in this world regarding the past and the present.

Modern vocabulary, synonyms, and words have been found which have alternative meanings and are being used simultaneously.

When To Use “Is” and “Was”?

If something is happening right now, then we should use “is” as it is present tense. On the other hand, if it had happened in the past, then “was” should be used as it is the past tense.

What Kinds of Verbs Are “Is” and “Was”?

To convey the expression of the main verb, a helping verb is also utilized, which is termed an auxiliary verb.

Some of the major auxiliary verbs are:

  • to be
  • to have
  • to do

They seem to appear like: am, is, are, was, were, will be, etc.


  • To sum it up, both words (“is” and “was“) are used based on the sentences and situations concerned. “Is” and “was” represent the individuality and singularity of the noun.
  • Overall, even though they both possess different behaviors, they are both used to identify the singular noun. Both of these words have a vital role in English grammar, no matter what dialect English is spoken in.
  • There are so many other words that have been found, but the presence of “is” and “was” is the basic essence of English grammar, and it would be incomplete without them.
  • Both of these words address different eras; one of them is from the present and the other one is from the past.

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