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Past Future Exercises with Answers

One aspect of English grammar is the past future tense, a tool for discussing actions that were expected to happen in the future from a point in the past. In this article, we’ll discuss the past future tense, explore its usage, and provide examples to enhance your understanding.

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Past Future Exercises with Answers
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Definition of the Past Future Simple

The past future tense, also known as the future-in-the-past tense, is used to describe actions that were expected to happen in the future at a specific point in the past. It allows speakers to discuss events that were anticipated or planned from a historical perspective.

Formation of the Past Future Simple

In English, the past future tense is typically formed using the modal verb “would” followed by the base form of the main verb. This structure signifies the future action from the viewpoint of the past. Additionally, auxiliary verbs such as “was/were going to” or “was/were about to” can also be used to express the past future tense.

Examples:
1. She said she would visit her grandmother next weekend. (The action of visiting was planned in the past.)
2. He told me he was going to start his own business after graduation. (The intention to start a business was formed in the past.)

Usage of the Past Future Simple

You can use the past future simple for different situations:

 

Future from a Historical Perspective

In narratives or discussions about past events, the past future tense is employed to describe actions that were expected or predicted to occur in the future from that point in the past.

Examples

  • In the early 20th century, some scientists  believed that by the year 2000, humans would visit Mars.
  • Leonardo da Vinci famously predicted that one day, humans would fly like birds using mechanical wings.
  • During the industrial revolution, many visionaries foresaw a future where machines would automate most manual labor tasks.
  • During the 1970s, many people believed that humans would make a video call in the future.
  • As far back as ancient times, philosophers speculated that eventually, humans would create machines capable of independent thought and consciousness.
  • During World War II, people believed that technology would revolutionize the world.

The Past Future Simple for Reported Speech

When reporting statements, questions, or requests made in the past, you can use the past future simple tense to express your reports.

Examples

  • Sarah said she would call me later. (Sarah’s intention to call was expressed in the past.)
  • She said she would meet us at the restaurant at 7 p.m.
  • He told me he would finish the project by the end of the week.
  • They mentioned they would travel to Europe for their vacation next month.
  • The manager promised she would provide feedback on our proposal by Monday.
  • Susan’s parents assured her they would support her decision to study abroad.

Unreal Present Situations

The unreal present refers to hypothetical situations or conditions in the present that are unlikely or contrary to reality. You can use the simple past future to express what would happen if a certain condition were met, but in reality, that condition is unlikely or impossible.

Examples

Here are six examples of past future simple tense used to express unreal present (conditional type 2):

1. If I won the lottery, I would travel around the world.
(Unreal present condition: I don’t buy the lottery.)

2. If she studied harder, she would pass the exam with flying colors.
(Unreal present condition: Currently, she is not studying hard enough.)

3. If it stopped raining, we would go for a picnic in the park.
(Unreal present condition: Currently, it is still raining.)

4. If he had more free time, he would learn to play the guitar.
(Unreal present condition: He is currently busy and lacks free time.)

5. If they lived closer, we would visit them more often.
(Unreal present condition: Currently, they live far away.)

6. If I had a car, I would drive to work instead of taking the bus.
(Unreal present condition: Currently, I do not own a car.)

Polite Requests or Offers

In polite requests, offers, or invitations, you can use the past future tense to express courtesy or formality.

Examples

Here are six polite requests, offers, or invitations:

1. Would you mind passing me the salt, please?
2. Would you be interested in joining us for dinner tonight?
3. Would you kindly help me with this heavy box?
4. Would you like a cup of tea or coffee?
5. Would you care to accompany me to the concert next week?
6. Would you mind if I borrowed your umbrella for a moment?

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Mastering the past future tense adds depth and precision to your English language skills, allowing you to discuss past expectations, intentions, and predictions with clarity and accuracy. By understanding its formation and its usage, you can effectively express actions and events from a historical perspective. Sometimes, we can also use “should” instead of “would” to express the past perfect tense. So, next time you find yourself discussing past plans or anticipated futures, remember to incorporate the past future tense for clear and concise communication.

 

Exercises

Exercise 1

Complete the sentences with the correct verbs provided, and use the correct form of past perfect tense.

                    colonize,    do,    fly,    have,    live,    start,    study,   travel,  visit, win

1. In the 1960s, people believed that by the year 2000, we __________ flying cars.
2. He told me he __________ his own business after graduating from college.
3. During my childhood, I always dreamed that I __________ around the world.
4. Scientists in the 19th century predicted that by now, humans __________  Mars.
5. My grandmother always said that one day, robots __________  all the household chores.
6. Back in the 1950s, it was believed that by the 21st century, we __________  in space colonies.

7. He was sure from the beginning that he ___________ the championship.

8. During the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci thought that humans __________  like birds.

9. He mentioned that he __________  his relatives in Australia next summer.

10. If she __________  harder, she would pass the exam.

 

Exercise 2

Answer the following questions using the correct past future tense.

  1. If you could travel back in time to any historical period, where would you go?
  2. If you could have dinner with any famous person, living or dead, who would it be?
  3. If you could choose any superpower, what would it be and why?
  4. If you could live in any fictional world from a book or movie, which one would you choose?
  5. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
  6. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
  7. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go first?
  8. If you could relive any moment from your past, which one would it be?
  9. If you could learn any new skill instantly, what would it be?
  10. If you could meet your future self, what would you ask them?

 

Exercise 3

Write an offer, request, or invitation using “would” based on the following situations:

  1. You’re planning a weekend getaway with friends. How would you invite them to join you?
  2. You’re organizing a group study session for an upcoming exam. How would you ask your classmates to participate?
  3. You’re hosting a potluck dinner and need someone to bring dessert. How would you request this from your guests?
  4. You’re moving to a new apartment and could use some help with packing and moving boxes. How would you ask your friends for assistance?
  5. You’re going out for lunch with colleagues and want to invite a new team member to join. How would you extend the invitation?
  6. You’re organizing a charity event and need volunteers to help with setup and coordination. How would you ask for their support?
  7. You’re attending a concert and have an extra ticket. How would you offer it to a friend?
  8. You’re planning a beach day with family and friends. How would you invite them to join you for a day of sun and relaxation?
  9. You’re hosting a game night and need someone to bring snacks and drinks. How would you request this from your guests?
  10. You’re going shopping and would like company. How would you invite a friend to join you?

 

Answer

Exercise 1

  1. would have
  2. would start
  3. won
  4. would colonize
  5. would do
  6. would live
  7. arrived
  8. would fly
  9. would visit
  10. studied

Exercise 2

  1. I would travel back to ancient Egypt to witness the construction of the pyramids.
  2. I would have dinner with Albert Einstein to pick his brain about physics.
  3. I would choose the ability to teleport so I could travel anywhere instantly.
  4. I would live in the wizarding world of Harry Potter because magic is fascinating.
  5. I would eliminate poverty to ensure everyone has access to basic necessities.
  6. I would be a professional musician because I love performing and creating music.
  7. I would visit Japan first to immerse myself in its rich culture and history.
  8. I would relive my graduation day because it was a moment of immense pride and joy.
  9. I would learn how to speak multiple languages fluently to communicate with people from different cultures.
  10. I would ask my future self for advice on major life decisions and if they have any regrets.

 

Exercise 3

  1. Would you like to join us for a weekend getaway?
  2. Would you be interested in attending our group study session?
  3. Would you mind bringing dessert to the potluck dinner?
  4. Would you be able to help me with packing and moving boxes?
  5. Would you care to join us for lunch?
  6. Would you consider volunteering for our charity event?
  7. Would you like to come to the concert with me? I have an extra ticket.
  8. Would you like to spend the day at the beach with us?
  9. Would you be able to bring snacks and drinks for our game night?
  10. Would you want to come shopping with me?

 

Other Exercises

 

 

 


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One response to “Past Future Exercises with Answers”

  1. rewted.org Avatar

    I wanted to thank you for this fantastic read!!
    I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it. I’ve got you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post…

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