Futur immédiat dans le passé. Future in the past

At first glance, the name of this tense may seem very strange and complicated. What does it mean, future in the past? First of all, Futur immédiat dans le passé means action in the near future, which is considered from the position of the past. For example: for us, "tomorrow" is the future. But if, "the day after-morrow" has already come and it is "today" now, the former "tomorrow" will turn into "yesterday"! As you can see, in this example, "tomorrow" is not stable at all. Any "yesterday" is a former "tomorrow". Thus, the action of this tense is relative, it is an action in the future in relation to the past, but not to the present. That's why this tense has such a name.

And one more thing, there is the word "immédiat" (nearest) in the title, i.e. an action that will soon be accomplished and is translated into Russian with the help of such words as "soon," "going to do something," in relation to the past. All this is called "sequence of tenses", which we will speak about in one of our future articles. And now, let's just consider this tense.

So, Futur immédiat dans le passé is formed with the help of aller in Imparfait + the infinitive of the semantic verb. Thus, it is Imparfait from Futur immédiat, both in grammatical form and (in some other cases) in meaning, and we often translate it like "was/were going to, intended to do something, was/were about to".

Futur immédiat dans le passé also means the immediate action in the future as Futur immédiat - but in terms of the past tense.

Il sentait qu'elle allait dire quelque chose d'important. - He felt that she was about to say something important.

Notre secrétaire a dit qu'elle allait imprimer les documents. - Our secretary said that she would now print the documents.

Nous savories qu'il allait pleurer et nous avons pris nos parapluies. - We knew that it was about to rain and took our umbrellas.

It also indicates the action that should have taken place in the past, but the other action prevented it, in the past.

For example:

Le facteur allait frapper à la porte mais tout à coup celle-ci s'est ouverte. - The postman was about to knock on the door, but suddenly it flew open.

Victor allait accepter l'invitation quand il se rappela la promesse. - Victor intended to accept the invitation when he remembered the promise.

Le chien allait aboyer mais le maître lui fit chut et celui-là se calma. - The dog was going to bark, but the owner "barked" at him, and the dog calmed down.

In fact, that's all. We hope that eventually you will succeed, and this tense will not cause any difficulties. Once again, we will consider the sequence of tenses in one of our future articles. And in order to study the French language easier, we recommend you take the help of one of our teachers.

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