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Where vs. Were vs. Wear vs. We're (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use where vs. were vs. wear vs. we're with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

There were so many word combinations that tripped me up in English, but few matched where, were, wear, and we're. So many w's, e's, and r's that all sound similar if not exactly the same. But we're ready to show your sentences where to wear which, as it were.

(Grammar Rules for Writers.)

So let's look at where vs. were vs. wear vs. we're.

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Where vs. Were vs. Wear vs. We're

Where is most commonly used as an adverb to define a location or position. It can also be used informally as a conjunction in place of the words "that" or "whereas." As such, "where" is commonly used to ask questions like "Where are my socks?" or make positional statements like, "Home is where the heart is."

(How to Make Your Setting a Character.)

Were is a verb that's the second person singular past, plural past, and past subjunctive of the verb "be." For instance, "I was out last night," becomes, "you were out last night," or "they were out last night." Also, "were" is pronounced different than "where" and "wear," except when it's used in the word "werewolf," because it feels like there always has to be an exception.

Wear is a verb and a noun. As a verb, it can mean "to bear or decorate on a body," as in "to wear clothes," or it can mean "to break something down over time," as in "to wear down during a physical activity." As a noun, wear can mean "an article of clothing that is worn," or "signs of being worn down."

We're is a contraction of "we are." Simple as that.

Make sense?

Here are a few examples:

Correct: Where were you when I called last week?
Incorrect: Wear we're you when I called last week?

Correct: We're in agreement that Joe began to wear down as the game went into overtime.
Incorrect: Were in agreement that Joe began to where down as the game went into overtime.

Correct (using all): We're pretty sure they went out last night, though we don't know where or what they were going to wear.

Just remember that "we're" is a contraction (the apostrophe is a giveaway), while "where" is a location, "were" is the past of "to be" (in some cases), and "wear" covers everything else (sometimes literally).

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Learn more in the online course, Grammar and Mechanics, from Writer’s Digest University:

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