Interested in Language
I am learning English by myself and I have a question - I was watching the movie Pursuit of Happyness and there was this sentence:
"I met my father for the first time when I was 28 years old. And I made up my mind as a young kid that when I had children...... my children were gonna know who their father was."
Here is my question: why is there used just the simple past tense? when he was actually speaking about the future as well?
I hope you will respond me and answer my question because I donīt know who could me answer better as an english speaking teacher.
Thank you in advance.
The normal pattern for future time clauses in English is : When + Present, future form.
When I have children I am going to [or will] spend quality time with them.
If we report that later, and backshift the tenses, we get:
He said that when he had children he was going to [or would] spend quality time with them.
This is what has happened in your example.