Past Tense of Be – Negative form

You will study the Past Tense of Be in the negative form.


Past Tense of Be – Negative form

The American Revolutionary War

Instructions: Read the text. Look at the underlined words.

The American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) also known as the American War of Independence and the Revolutionary War in the United States, was not a pacific movement but the armed conflict between Great Britain and thirteen of its North American colonies, which had declared themselves the independent United States of America.

Early fighting took place primarily on the North American continent. France, eager for revenge after its defeat in the Seven Years’ War, signed an Alliance with the new nation in 1778 that proved decisive in the ultimate victory. The conflict was not only in the American Continent, it gradually expanded into a world war with Britain combating France, Spain, and the Netherlands. Fighting also broke out in India between the British East India Company and the French allied Kingdom of Mysore.

American Revoutionary War. Retrieved and adapted October, 2016 from


Getting started: Origins of American Revolution

Instructions: Read the text and do the activity suggested.

The origins of the war were not unclear. The war was originated by the resistance of many Americans to taxes, which they claimed were not just, imposed by the British Parliament. Patriot protest escalated into boycotts, and on December 16, 1773, the destruction of a shipment of tea at the Boston Tea Party. The British government retaliated by closing the port of Boston and taking away self-government. The Patriots responded by setting up a shadow government that took control of the province outside of Boston. Twelve other colonies supported by Massachusetts, formed a Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance, and set up committees and conventions that effectively seized power. British attempts to seize American gun, gunpowder and ammunition in April 1775 was the cause for the start of hostilities at the Battles of Lexington and Concord, in Middlesex County, near Boston. This began open armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen of its colonies. The Continental Congress appointed General George Washington to take charge of militia units besieging British forces in Boston, forcing them to evacuate the city in March 1776. Congress supervised the war, giving Washington command of the new Continental Army; he also coordinated state militia units.

American Revoutionary War. Retrieved and adapted October, 2016 from

The origins of war

Instructions: Choose T (True) or F (False) for the following statements.

1. There was not only a reason to start the war.

2. There were not a lot of taxes over North American colonies.

3. North American colonies were not happy with the exploitation.

4. The British control on the guns was not a cause for war.

5. George Washington was not in the war.

Past Tense of Be – Negative form.

Let’s learn how to use the past tense of Be in the negative form.

Instructions: Read about the negative form for the past tense of Be.

Remember: To Be is used to express state or feelings.

Was not (wasn't) and Were not (weren't) are the two forms for To Be in the past tense negative form.

Was not (wasn't) is used for I, he, she and it.

Look at the word order in the following examples:

Subject Verb + Not Complement
was not (wasn’t)
were not (weren’t)
was not (wasn’t)
was not (wasn’t)
was not (wasn’t)
were not (weren’t)
were not (weren’t)
happy at the party.
at home that day.
also in the party.
there with him.
a nice reunion.
there very early.
late with food and drinks.

Note:Was not and Were not are used in written English.
Wasn't and Weren't are used in spoken English.


Wasn’t and weren’t

Instructions: Drag and drop the words to make negative sentences.

I in College wasn't three years ago
John in the same with me Literature class was not
very good We friends weren't
were not my friends either Jane and Ryan
They from the US weren't
They for many years were not in the US
I there wasn't for a long time either


Negative sentences

Instructions: Make negative sentences with wasn't or weren't and the following prompts:

  1. The Continental Congress / formed in 1775.
  2. The Declaration of Independence / taken into place until August 2, 1776.
  3. It / signed before 1776.
  4. William Howe / able to capture George Washington.
  5. Washington’s army / trapped not defeated.
  6. Burgoyne’s separate invasion force from Canada / trapped until October 1777.
  7. North American colonies / in peace with the British.


George Washington

Instructions: Choose Was not or Were not in the following sentences.

1. France and Spain was not/were not with the British.

2. Spain was not/were not an ally of Great Britain.

3. Britain and the Dutch Republic was not/were not allies either.

4. The North American colonies was not/were not alone in the war.

5. British troops was not/were not captured by Spain but by the Franco-American army.

6. The British Parliament was not/were not against the war until 1782.

7. The war was not/were not ended in a couple of years.