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  1. #1
    Shamsiyan is offline Member
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    Default The usage of "be to + infinitive" for future in past

    Look at the following sentence which is about the usage of “Future in Past”:

    Jack was to find out years later that the car he had bought was stolen.

    I want to know whether Jack knows that the car is stolen when the speaker says this sentence? (I think that Jack does not know.)

    What is your opinion?
    Last edited by Shamsiyan; 16-Aug-2012 at 12:32.

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: The usage of "be to + infinitive" for future in past

    Quote Originally Posted by Shamsiyan View Post
    Look at the following sentence which is about the usage of “Future in Past”: Jack was to find out years later that the car he had bought was stolen. I want to know whether Jack knows that the car is stolen when the speaker says this sentence? (I think that Jack does not know.) What is your opinion?
    When he first bought the car, Jack did not know that it was stolen. At the time your sentence was uttered, Jack had found out.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 16-Aug-2012 at 13:25. Reason: Fixed a little typo

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: The usage of "be to + infinitive" for future in past

    There is no "opinion" here - the sentence clearly says that he didn't find out until years later, so he did NOT know when he bought it.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    Shamsiyan is offline Member
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    Default Re: The usage of "be to + infinitive" for future in past

    Thank you for your help.

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