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Future in the Past

Future in the past is used when you want to discuss something in the past that you thought would happen in the future. It doesn’t matter whether the thing actually ended up happening. You use future in the past to discuss a plan or a promise from the past.

There are two ways to form the future in the past. One way is to use was/were going to + verb, as in, “He was going to go to the movies last Friday night.” At some point in the past, he had a plan to go to the movies last Friday night. “Last Friday night” falls sometime between the moment when he made the plan and now.

You can also use would to form future in the past. Use would when you are talking about something in the past that someone promised or volunteered to do. For example, you might say, “He said he would call when he arrived.” If the call happened, it happened after he said he would.

Future in the Past Lessons:

Daniel Radcliffe

Joined at the Hip

Call the Shots

Water Bottles

Perfect Strangers


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United States

I am preparing for the admission test and I want to improve my grammar for the English paper. I like the way you gave examples. Use of future in the past seems like more difficult. I have learnt a lot from ukessayservice.biz service too which makes me more comfortable with my essays.

05:47 PM May 02 2015 |


United States

When we talk about the past, we sometimes want to refer to something which was in the future at the time we were speaking. We use past verb forms to do this:

- The last time I met her, she was leaving for a new job in Italy the following day. (past form of She is leaving)

- They rang to say they would be with us by ten o’clock but then their flight was cancelled. (past form of They will be with us)

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11:35 PM Apr 21 2015 |


Cayman Islands

I gotta say I never understood this future in the past” thing… I guess it will wake a few more lessons from me to really get it.

10:36 AM Apr 21 2015 |




I am happy that you provide such article in here. But I felt like i can’t easily understand the tenses and nd up mixing them all. kindlyhelp me with the tenses what is the  best way to  learn tenses?

01:36 AM Apr 02 2015 |




I will study this subject.i will do it

03:21 PM Dec 23 2014 |




I was reading when the phone rang.

06:09 AM Sep 09 2014 |



...there is only one way to master English…and that is keep speaking…may be some time it’s incorrect…then you need to consalt grammar…www.blogkise.blogspot.com

07:11 PM Jul 17 2014 |

1 person likes this



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

MY FRIEND said she would call me up when she arrived hom e

02:39 PM Jul 05 2014 |


United States

It’s very helpful! thanks for nice share about Futures in the past.

“I were going to apply to Minnesota Web Design firm last month”

01:50 AM May 20 2014 |


Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

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01:36 AM Apr 12 2014 |