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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

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

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

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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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