The future in the past

Hello friends, I thought we could start the week with a little grammar rule. Did you have to change your plans over the weekend? This is how you can express it.

Sentence construction using  “was/were going to”

I was going to eat out, but I didn’t have enough money….

There has been a change of plans….

Was there ever something you wanted to do very badly, but something else came up and prevented you from doing what you wanted to do?

What were you going to do at that time?

What changed your mind or stopped you from it?

We use “was/were going to” to describe events that were supposed to happen but didn’t.

ex.    I was going to graduate school last year, but I couldn’t leave my friends behind.

ex.    He was going to apply for this new job, but he realized that he didn’t have enough work experience for the position.

I was going to….but….

I had planned everything for last week.  I was going to go hiking on Monday, do house chores on Tuesday, have dinner with my friends on Wednesday, go fishing on Thursday, do my homework on Friday, wash my car on Saturday and sleep all day on Sunday.

However, none of these things happened because I was informed by my superior that I had to work for another week before taking my vacation.

Please complete the following….

Peter was going to find a job after graduating school….

Mary and Jack were going to get married this summer….
Josh was going to report his friend’s unlawful activity to the boss….

Of course, if you want to add more information to your statement, you can do that using other subordinating conjunctions.

ex.    I was going to go hiking yesterday but it didn’t happen because my mother was sick and I needed to take care of her.

ex.    Peter was going to go to Australia last Monday but all the flights on that day were cancelled because the weather conditions on that day were bad.

Please complete the following, and this time try to support the statement with reasons.

Eric was going to go to New York but….because….
Sam was going to throw a birthday party for his brother but….because….
Daniel was going to be promoted to manager last Tuesday but….because….
Leave your answer

Practice

1. A: Is John coming to our party?

B: He ______________________, but he _______________________ a babysitter for his children. (can’t find)

2. A: Are you cooking dinner tonight?

B: I ________________________ until the power ________________ out. (go)

3. A: Is your son going to university?

    B: He ______________________, but he ___________________ to take a year off and travel first. (decide)

4. A: Is the teacher going to stay after class?

B: He _______________________, but he ___________________ out he had a meeting to go to later. (find)

5. A: Are your friends going to sell their house?

B: They ______________________ until the real estate market ___________________. (crash)

6. A: Are you going to buy a new tablet?

B: Well, I ____________________________ buy a new iPad until I __________________ my job. (lose)

7. A: What are Scott and Victoria doing tonight?

B: They ____________________ see a film, but instead they _____________ reservations at a restaurant. (make)

8. A: Did the plumber come to fix the toilet today.

B: He _________________________ come this morning, but his truck _____________________ down. (break)

9. A: Did the children do their homework yet?

B: They ___________________________do it until Uncle Bob __________________ by for a surprise visit. (come)

10. A: Have I paid the credit card bill yet this month? I can’t remember.

B: No, you didn’t. You said you ______________________ wait until you _____________________. (get paid)

Note: I have adapted this grammar lesson from lesson plans I use with my students live online. Classes are 50 minutes long and can be done 1-1 or in small groups. For more information please visit my website www.monumentenglish.com

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