We use these questions to ask for general information about the past. We are not asking about what is true now, we are asking about what was true in the past.
Use the past tense be verbs (was, were) with these questions. Question Word + be verb + noun/pronoun...?
- What was his name?
- What were their names?
- Where was the party?
- How was the concert?
- How was your weekend?
- How was his presentation?
- Who were they?
- Where was the show?
- How was your trip?
- What was the restaurant?
- When was his birthday party?
We can put more information after the noun or pronoun.
Bonus Tips and Points
- Where were you yesterday afternoon?
- What was the name of the hotel?
- Where was the park that you went to?
- How as the movie that you saw?
- How was the musical at the theater?
- How was the weather in Germany?
- What was her speech about?
- When was your first day of work?
- Why was Tom angry?
- How were the cookies?
- Why was the book on the floor?
- What was Tom sad about?
- When was that movie on TV?
- What was the book about?
- What was the meeting about?
- How were the hotels during your trip?
- What were the books that you read?
- Why were the people angry?
- Why was he at the office on Sunday?
1. We can also use this question pattern when the question word is the subject. We only use the question words "who" and "what" this way. Also, the "be verb" is always "was". What/Who + was + prepositional phrase/adjective...?
- What was in the box?
- What was outside?
- Who was at the party?
- Who was in the break room an hour ago?
- What was good?
- Who was angry?
- Who wasn't surprised?
2. Here is one more common question pattern. What/Which + noun + be verb...?
Real-World English Conversations
- What movie was on TV last night?
- What book was your favorite when you were young?
- Which house was your house when you were growing up?
A) When was the meeting?
B) The meeting was last Monday at 2 pm.
A) Where was the conference last year?
B) The conference was in London last year.
A) What song was your favorite at the concert?
B) I don't know. I liked them all.
A) How was your weekend?
B) It was great. I just relaxed and read a book.
A) How was your date?
B) It was good. I had a lot of fun. I hope to see her again.
A) What was her name? I can't remember.
B) Her name was Sally. Study these free English lessons to improve your English speaking. If you learn these common sentence patterns well, then your English speaking will improve greatly and you will be able to have fluent conversations in English in the near future! Study the lessons well, practice using the sentences and questions at home and in real life, and make sure to come back to review the material so you do not forget. If you do these three things, then you will be speaking English like a native English speaker in no time!