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Italian East Africa

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noun
a former Italian territory in E Africa, formed in 1936 by the merging of Eritrea and Italian Somaliland with newly conquered Ethiopia: taken by the British Imperial forces 1941.
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.
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British Dictionary definitions for Italian East Africa

Italian East Africa

noun
a former Italian territory in E Africa, formed in 1936 from the possessions of Eritrea, Italian Somaliland, and Ethiopia: taken by British forces in 1941
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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