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Future in the past

from English Grammar Today

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)

[a novelist writes about a house where he wrote his novel]

I saw the house that I was to live in for the next six months. (past form of I am to live in this house)

He said he was going to see the match but it was cancelled. (past form of He is going to see the match)

(“Future in the past” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press. Need grammar practice? Try English Grammar Today with Workbook.)
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