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.
Author:
Publish date:

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.

Image placeholder title

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).

*****

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

Image placeholder title
Ruth Hogan: On Infusing Personal Interests in Fiction

Ruth Hogan: On Infusing Personal Interests in Fiction

Author Ruth Hogan discusses the process of learning a new skill in writing her new novel, The Moon, The Stars and Madame Burova.

Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

Do You Find an Editor or Agent First?

It's a common question asked by writers looking to get their first book published: Do you find an editor or agent first? The answer depends on each writer's situation.

writer's digest wd presents

WDU Presents: 7 New WDU Courses, a Chance at Publication, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce seven new WDU courses, a chance at publication, and more!

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

Editor is a very broad term in the publishing industry that can mean a variety of things. Tiffany Yates Martin reveals what a professional editor is and why writers should consider using one.

From Script

How to Find the Right Reader for Feedback, Writing Female Characters and Tapping into Emotionally Authentic Characters (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script Magazine, read film reviews from Tom Stemple, part three of writing female characters, interviews with Free Guy scribes Zak Penn and Matt Lieberman, The Eyes of Tammy Faye screenwriter Abe Sylvia, and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is chasing trends in writing and publishing.

Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

Author Dawn Secord shares her journey toward self-publishing a picture book featuring her Irish Setter named Bling.

Poetic Forms

Crown of Sonnets: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the crown of sonnets, a form that brings together seven sonnets in a special way.

25 Ways Reflective Writing Can Help You Grow as a Writer (and as a Person)

25 Ways Reflective Writing Can Help You Grow as a Writer (And as a Person)

Reflective writing—or journaling—is a helpful practice in helping understand ourselves, and by extensions, the stories we intend to write. Author Jeanne Baker Guy offers 25 ways reflective writing can help you grow as a writer (and as a person).