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Donatello
Why are these future sentences expressed with a conditional mood and a past tense? Hello guys! I found these sentences: "He decided he would escort me" and "If I told you I was going with you to buenos aires?". In both cases the subordinate clauses refer to a situation in the future (I got it from the context). Can you explain me why conditional mood and past tense were used? Thanks!
May 25, 2013 4:53 PM
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Answers · 6
It's called: Reported speech one step back rule. When reporting what you heard, you change from present to past.
May 25, 2013
Both sentences are examples of "reported speech" or "indirect speech." When you use reported speech, you usually "backshift" the verb. In the case of future "will," you backshift will to would. In the case of future "am/is going to," you backshift the verb to "was going to." You do not always backshift the verb to the past tense, and in some cases backshifting the verb is optional.
May 25, 2013
Indirect quotation. When you are describing what you were saying or thinking at a specific moment in the past, you use the past tense. Hence, in this sentence, 'would' is not a conditional, it's simply the past form of 'will'.
May 25, 2013
Donatello
Language Skills
English, French, Greek, Italian
Learning Language
English, Greek