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Have you heard of future past? In today’s class, your dreams are going to come true. We are going to time travel! Can you think of a time last year, and think of where you thought you would be right now? You’ve just time travelled, and hopefully you thought of a sentence in the future past. Confused? Don’t worry, this blog post will show you how to use the future past.
We use future in the past to talk about something in the past that you thought would happen in the future (it doesn’t matter if it actually happened or not). So how do we make a sentence to show we thought something would happen in the future? There are two ways:
1. would + (base verb)
2. was/were + going to + (base verb)
We use both of these forms in slightly different ways. Would + (base verb) is mostly used to show a voluntary action, promise or to make a prediction:
When we use was/were + going to + (base verb), we are talking about a plan or a prediction:
Now that we have studied how to make future in the past sentences, let’s practice using them. Try to complete these sentences. At the beginning of the sentence, I have written either volunteer, promise, plan or prediction. That indicates what type of sentence to write (would + verb or was/were + going to + verb).
Example: (prediction) I thought that there _would be _ cars before the 1930s.
Great work! You may have noticed in these sentences that I placed time expressions at the end of the sentence. This is because in all future forms, time expressions cannot be at the beginning of the sentence. You must use the past simple if you have a time expression at the beginning of the sentence- look below:
As soon as I would arrive at the restaurant, I would order a pizza. Incorrect
As soon as I arrived at the restaurant, I would order pizza. Correct (past simple)
You’re doing great! We just have one exercise left. Identify if there is a time expression, and then use either the past simple or the Future in the Past (would +verb or was/were going to +verb) to complete the sentence with the verb in the parenthesis ( ). As always, write your answers in the comment section and we will give you some feedback!
2. They promised that they ______________ (come) to my birthday party, but no one came!
3. By the time he ______________(arrive), it ___________ (be) too late.
That is the end of today’s class, we hope you enjoyed it! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below. If you want to continue improving your English skills, sign up for a free 25-minute class today!