Unit 2.1

Future in the Past

Tenses

The future in the past is the tense used when we are talking about the past and we want to refer to something which was in the future at that time.

Future in the past structures are the past form of will and to be going to: 

Subject + would + verb + …
Subject + was/were + going to + verb + …

  • They told me that they would ask for the bills.
  • The owner said that she would take care of the clients.
  • I knew the manager was going to make an offer to me.
  • I read that the workshops were going to be open for 24 hours.

We use future in the past when we are in the past but we want to talk about something that would happen in the future.

We use:

  • would for voluntary actions and promises;
  • was/were going to for plans.

We use future in the past when we are in the past but we want to talk about something that would happen in the future at that time.

The structure is: We start with the subject folloewd by would and a verb in its base form. We can also start with the subject followed by was or where followed by going to and a verb in its base form.

>>>Future in the past structures are the past form of will and to be going to: 

Subject + would + verb + …
Subject + was/were + going to + verb + …<<<

While would is used for voluntary actions, was/were going to is used for planned actions.

For example:
— “My brother told me that he would order some products from internet.” = We are talking about a future action but in a past tense, that is why we use future in the past, and will becomes would.
— “The businessman said that he was going to invest in international trade next year.” = Businessman talked about a future plan in the past and that is why we used be going to in the past form.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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