Which of the following is correct and why:

1 - There were 2,223 people aboard RMS Titanic

2 - There was 2,223 people aboard RMS Titanic

2 Answers 2


1- "There WERE plural people," because you say "plural people WERE there."

Otherwise, "There WAS one person," because you say "one person WAS there."


There has always been this misunderstanding in the minds of people when they are constructing a sentence whether to use was or were in a particular sentence. Now, the answer to it is pretty simple and you have to keep this small thing in your mind that-

"In a particular sentence, what are you referring to?"

If you are referring to a singular entity then you have to use was in it, but if you are referring to multiple/ plural entities then you have to use were in it.

Let's take an example which will help you to understand more clearly:

Q.) How many people attended the meeting?

Ans 1: It was just Sam who was present at the meeting. (In this sentence, sam is a single entity so we use was.)

Ans 2: There were all the team members who attended the meeting. (In this sentence, all team members are plural entity so we use was.)

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