Construction of a Sentence

Is the following sentence written correctly? I am not sure about using 'was' or 'were'?

Research, attention to detail and documentation was required to locate bad debtors.

Could you explain how to know when you use was and when to use were?

Thank You.

Comments for Construction of a Sentence

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Nov 02, 2010
Here's a trick
by: Ola Zur

Here is a trick you could use:
If you can replace the subject with "he", "she" or "it" use "was".
If you can replace it with "we", "you" or "they" use "were".

For example:
"Sharon _______ at home all afternoon."
You can use "she" instead of "Sharon", so the correct sentence is:
"Sharon was at home all afternoon."

Here is another one:
"Jack, Bill and Joe _______ drunk."
You can use "they" instead of "Jack, Bill and Joe", so the correct sentence is:
"Jack, Bill and Joe were drunk."

Regarding your sentence, as you may have guessed by now, the correct sentence is:

"Research, attention to detail and documentation were required to locate bad debtors."

Ola Zur is the editor of, an illustrated guide to English.

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