Count Nouns, Plural

With There Was

Plural Count Nouns with There Was and Other Past Tense Forms

There were refers to things or people (plural count nouns, or PCN) that were present sometime in the past.

(-)/two/six/a few
 There were few/some/enough
+ many/a lot of/lots of + PCN 
 Subject + past tense dozens of/too many
millions of/zillions of

Note: Few, as opposed to a few, implies scarcity, a lack of.

● There were a lot of shoppers at the open-air market.
● We saw a few policemen at the rally.
● There were few police officers at the riot scene.
Dozens of experts gave lectures at the conference.
● The spectators admired the various performances.

Negative Forms

 There weren’t + any/many + PCN 
 Subject + didn’t + v-1 enough/a lot of

● There weren’t enough textbooks for all the students.
● The detectives didn’t uncover any fingerprints at the scene of the burglary.
● There weren’t many people swimming in the lake.

Question Forms

 Were there + (-)/any/two/three
 Did + subject + verb-1 many/a lot of/lots of+ PCN
 Were + subject + ing-form

How many + PCN + were there/did + sub + v-1/were + ing-form?

● Were there many tough questions on the exam? —> Actually there two long essay questions.
How many fish did you catch? —> Just one. They weren’t biting today.
● Did you rub shoulders with a lot of bigwigs at the convention? —> Well…I exchanged lots of business cards.
● Were there any brassware and copperware on display?

Answer the Following Questions

Or respond to the following statements. Say it’s true, or it’s false/not true, yes or no, yes and no, I agree, I disagree, maybe, sometimes, it depends, in the middle, mostly, in a way. Make any necessary corrections or changes. Say why and give examples.

1. Until about 1990, there were lots of military personnel and bases in my country.
2. Were there many young families in rural areas 30 years ago?
3. Twenty years ago, I didn’t see that many overweight individuals.

4. My grandfather says, “In the old days, there were lots of factories, but few shops. Today there are lots of shops, but few factories.”
5. In the past, people shopped in numerous, small specialty shops in the town center.
6. Were there any coups, revolutions or upheavals in your country in recent history?

7. There weren’t that many immigrants/migrants in my city several decades ago.
8. Before you could find a lot of different types of vegetables in the market. Today there is only one of each type of carrot, tomato, onion, cabbage, etc. At the same time, you now see lots of exotic vegetables and fruits.
9. Did you and your classmates learn a lot of different songs in school?

10. Were there any dinosaurs, mammoths, mastodons and sabre-toothed tigers in your region?
11. In medieval times there were witches, warlocks, soothsayers, sorcerers and alchemists in my area.
12. Before, my community had plenty of clubs, organizations and associations for everyone to join.


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