Sorry if someone already answered it, but as I could not find it, I decided to post the question.

For a while I've been looking movies ( normally USA movies ) and I hear always these statements that sound strange to me:

"We was" or "They was"

At the beginning I though that it might be an intended error, but I hear it more and more and I wonder whether this is a correct sentence. Or perhaps is just something only applicable to USA English ?

Thank you

  • 2
    When you're writing scripts for movies, you make characters talk not in standard English, but in the dialects they would be speaking in real life. In these dialects, people say "we was" (although maybe not as often as the screenwriters portray them as doing, because screenwriters may not know those dialects well enough to get things exactly right). Aug 30, 2021 at 13:24
  • For example, the screenwriter may show us that a character is uneducated by having him speak incorrectly.
    – GEdgar
    Aug 30, 2021 at 13:55
  • Screenwriters and lyricists often include non-standard 'street language' in thier work. An extreme example is the classic 1940s record Is you is or is you ain't my baby written by Louis Jordan and Billy Austin and recorded by Jordan. The title and lyric can be translated into Standard English as "Are you or are you not my beloved?" but that would not have had the same effect at all.
    – BoldBen
    Aug 30, 2021 at 14:03
  • thank you @GEdgar Aug 30, 2021 at 14:54
  • thank you @Peter Shor Aug 30, 2021 at 14:54


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