Future in the Past is used to express the idea that in the past you thought something would happen in the future. This can be expressed in different ways:
- By using "was / were going to", you describe a future plan, intention or prediction at a certain point in the past that may or may not have taken place. Examples:
· I told you he was going to come to the party. (plan)
· I had a feeling that the vacation was going to be a disaster. (prediction)
· I knew you were not going to go to the party.
- By using "past continuous". Just as we use the present continuous for arrangements, the past continuous can be use to express what was a future arrangement in the past. Example:
· I was travelling to London that night but my flight was cancelled.
- By using "would" to imply a possibility or expectation. Examples:
· I knew Julie would make dinner.
· I knew you would not help him.
Remember No Future in Time Clauses
Like all future forms, Future in the Past cannot be used in clauses beginning with time expressions such as: when, while, before, after, by the time, as soon as, if, unless, etc. Instead of using Future in the Past, you must use Simple Past. Examples:
· I already told Mark that when he would arrive, we would go out for dinner. Not Correct
· I already told Mark that when he arrived, we would go out for dinner. Correct
And now some exercises for you to practise: