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      • Bulgarian
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    #1

    Future in the Past

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to share with me your appreciated opininion concerning the following sentences?

    We knew that father would return home late and left him supper on the kitchen table.

    The instructor pointed out that only the best sportsmen would take part in the All-Union competitions.

    K.Tsiolokovski foretold that this generation of mankind would explore the secrets of the universe.

    Robin Hood and his merry men promised to the poor that they would rob the rich landlords and the fat abbots and assist the sick and helpless.

    Revenge should have no bound.

    It was suggested that we should start at dawn.

    The draperís shop would not only dress you, post-office you, linoleum you, rug and wallpaper youÖ but would also burry and tombstone you.

    but:

    The father said to his girl that although the sun sets in the West it will rise the next day as always in the East.

    The porter told us the next train to Kiev will leave at midnight.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  1. fighting spirit's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Serbian
      • Home Country:
      • Serbia
      • Current Location:
      • Serbia

    • Join Date: Jan 2010
    • Posts: 199
    #2

    Re: Future in the Past

    Dear neighbor,

    When the principal (main) clause is in the past tense, the verb in the subordinating clause also should be in the past tense.

    We knew that father would return home late and left him supper on the kitchen table.

    KNEW is the main clause and is in the past tense, which means that the subordinate clause should also be in the past tense.
    This is the case with the sentences left.

    but:

    The father said to his girl that although the sun sets in the West it will rise the next day as always in the East.
    The porter told us the next train to Kiev will leave at midnight.
    As far this question is concerned, there is an exceptions to this rule:

    The subordinate clauses in the example given above indicates a universal truth Ė something that is true for all time. When the subordinate clause expresses a universal truth, it may be put in the present tense, even if the principal clause is in the past tense.

    I hope it's clear now.

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