This is the most complex tenses in English structure. From the name, Past Future, suggest that the tense varieties will be more complex. They are the result of combination from 2 or more simple tenses.
We have completely reviewed the 16 English tenses and this post is one of the series reviewing how many and how the tenses in English are structured. The links relate this study are below
You may noticed that most of the example given for each tense are quoted from news media. This is what I intended to see how the tenses in English are actually used in daily languages.
Past Future Tense and the 4 Varieties
From the first post, we showed you that the main time division, past, present, future, and past future, are give 4 different tenses. What are 4 different tenses labelled as Past Future? See the image below
From the image above, we get 4 different long and complex named tenses in English and we are going to see one by one below
1. Past Future Simple Tense
this tense is used to express the events that WILL be done, BUT in the past, not the present.
(+) S + would + Verb1
Example: I would go
(-) S + Would + not + Verb1
Example: I wouldn’t go
(?) Would + S + Verb1?
Example: Would you go?
News Written Using Past Future Simple
and it would speak to somebody who really doesn’t know what they’re talking about. (yellowsheetreport.com)
the birds would fly off into the distance taking some very expensive equipment with them. (phenomena.nationalgeographic.com)
This exercise would test agility, motor skills, and cardiovascular fitness. (umanitoba.ca)
2. Past Future Continuous Tense
Past Future Continuous tells an action would be in progress in the past.
(+) S + would + be + Verb-ing
Example: She would be Cooking this morning
(-) S + would + not + be + Verb-ing
Example: She would not be cooking this morning
(?) Would + S + be + Verb-ing
Example: Would she be cooking this morning?
time signals for this tense is time in the past like, this morning, yesterday, last night, last week and so on.
News Written Using Past Future Continuous Tense
You would be working a certain number of hours over the year, but have flexibility around when you work. (jobs.ulsterbank.com)
In this new context, I would be studying the specific ways in which genetic variations that predispose people to psychiatric illness, (ubc.ca)
The candidate would be working through the Carleton Place Child Care Services office (crowlanark.com)
You and your friend would be moving out of its path while it is in the air. (nationalgeographic.org)
3. Past Future Perfect Tense
This tense is restates the action stated in Future Perfect Tense but with different time dimension, it is in past time whilst the Future Perfect is in future time (not happen yet).
(+) S + would + have + Verb3
Example: I would have drunk the milk last night
(-) S + would + not + have + Verb3
Example: I wouldn’t have drunk the milk last night
(?) Would + S + have + Verb3
Example: Would you have drunk the milk last night?
Some News Written Using Past Future Perfect Tense
So these classical laws would have ruled out us being able to warp the universe (hawking.org.uk)
I would have jumped in there. I would have got a stick something and tried. Let it crush me. (nbcwashington.com)
This subsequent growth would have erased any sign of this colossal impact. (scistand.com)
This would have meant that the arrow of time would have pointed the other way in the contracting phase. (hawking.org.uk)
4. Past Future Perfect Continuous Tense
Past Future Perfect Continuous Tense emphasizes on the course and the duration of the action. Past Future Perfect Continuous Tense is used to tell an action which would have been happening until a certain time (period) in the past.
(+) S + would + have + been + verb-ing
Example: Chris would have been working for 6 years when he get fired
(-) S+ would + not + have + been + verb-ing
Example: Chris wouldn’t have been working for 6 years when he get fired
(?) Would + subject + have + been + verb-ing?
Example: Would Chris have been working for 6 years when he get fired?
Some News Written Using Past Future Perfect Continuous Tense
Under the latter, MEPs’ staff would have been working in open-plan offices, eschewing paper for iPads (politico.eu)
we would have been working to reduce or eliminate the barriers that make it difficult for doctors (pbs.org)
So the foundries would have been staying close to their best customers. (slate.com)
Personally, I would have been fixing up and driving these mean machines rather than just letting them rot! (neatorama.com)
This is about learning Past Future Tenses though recent news and publication. We have completely learning 16 tenses in English. Hope they give you better understanding on what is and how English grammar especially tenses are structured and used in daily languages.