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    #1

    I thought you .....to use past tense?

    I am trying to make sentences with the word "thought"

    I thought you were going to meet with Mary this afternoon

    I am wondering if I start a sentence with "I thought..". Do I always use the past tense in the same sentence? If the event has not happened, can I say "I thought you are going to meet with Mary this afternoon."

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    #2

    Re: I thought you .....to use past tense?

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas615 View Post
    I am trying to make sentences with the word "thought"

    I thought you were going to meet with Mary this afternoon

    I am wondering if I start a sentence with "I thought..". Do I always use the past tense in the same sentence? If the event has not happened, can I say "I thought you are going to meet with Mary this afternoon."
    With "I thought" in this context, you would use "you were going" even if the event hasn't happened yet.

    So:

    It's 11am.
    Me: What are you doing today, John?
    John: I'm going to the cinema this afternoon.
    Me: Oh, I thought you were going to meet Mary this afternoon.
    John: I was going to but I changed my mind and decided to go to the cinema instead.

    We use "I thought" even though the suggestion is "I think that..." The use of "you were going to" means "you had planned to [but now that's not what you're going to do].

    It's also used when talking about the past though:

    It's 7pm.
    Me: What did you do today, John?
    John: I went to the cinema this afternoon.
    Me: Oh, I thought you were going to meet Mary this afternoon.
    John: I was going to but she changed her plans so I went to the cinema.

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    #3

    Re: I thought you .....to use past tense?

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas615 View Post
    I am trying to make sentences with the word "thought"

    I thought you were going to meet with Mary this afternoon

    I am wondering if I start a sentence with "I thought..". Do I always use the past tense in the same sentence? If the event has not happened, can I say "I thought you are going to meet with Mary this afternoon."
    Use of the past tense (were) in this context with "thought" is correct, even though the planned meeting hasn't yet occurred. However, the decision to meet was made in past time.

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    #4

    Re: I thought you .....to use past tense?

    This kind of sentence illustrates perfectly the dangers of suggesting to beginners that rules of English tense concord are redundant!!

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