Future in the Past

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Lesson Notes


The future in the past tense, or past future tense (бъдеще време в миналото) is formed with the imperfect form of the auxiliary verb ща, followed by да and the present tense of the main verb.

For example, the future in the past of the verb "to pay" (perfective verb платя), would be:

  • Аз щях да платя - I was going to pay
  • Ти щеше да платиш - You were going to pay
  • Той/тя/то щеше да плати - He/she/it was going to pay
  • Ние щяхме да платим - We were going to pay
  • Вие щяхте да платите - You were going to pay
  • Те щяха да платят - They were going to pay

Similarly to the simple future, negative sentences are formed with the expression "нямаше да", followed by the present tense:

  • Аз нямаше да платя - I wasn't going to pay
  • Ти нямаше да платиш - You weren't going to pay
  • Той/тя/то нямаше да плати - He/she/it wasn't going to pay
  • Ние нямаше да платим - We weren't going to pay
  • Вие нямаше да платите - You weren't going to pay
  • Те нямаше да платят - They weren't going to pay

Also like the simple future, the future in the past tense for the verb съм can be formed in two ways, either with съм or with бъда.

  • "Щях да съм" or "Щях да бъда" - I was going to be
  • "Нямаше да си" or "Нямаше да бъдеш" - You weren't going to be


The future in the past is used to express an action that takes place in the past, but is regarded as a future action, relative to another reference point in the past.


Аз щях да бягам в парка вчера, но валеше
I was going to run in the park yesterday, but it rained

The future in the past is also frequently used as a past conditional form.
The previous sentence is equivalent to:

I would have run in the park yesterday, but it rained

Той никога нямаше да направи това
He would never have done that
(He was never going to do that)

When the verb in the if clause is one of съм, имам or знам, it will use the simple past, rather than the past perfect:

Ако времето беше хубаво, щяхме да отидем на риболов
If the weather had been nice, we would have gone fishing

Future Perfect in the Past

There also exists a perfect form of the future in the past, formed with the imperfect of ща, followed by да and the perfect tense of the main verb:

Щях да съм платил
I was going to have paid

This tense is only rarely used.

New vocabulary

In the exercises you will practice the following new vocabulary:

  • concert: концерт
  • flight: полет
  • trip: пътуване
  • mistake: грешка
  • early: рано
  • cloudy: облачен
  • careful: внимателен
  • to book/reserve: резервирам imperf.
  • to appear, to look like: изглеждам imperf.
  • to forget: забравям imperf., забравя (-и, забравих) perf.
  • to break: счупвам imperf., счупя (-и, счупих) perf.
  • to wait (a little): почаквам imperf., почакам perf.
  • to miss (an appointment): изпускам imperf., изпусна (-е, изпуснах) perf.
  • to listen (to someone's advice): послушвам imperf., послушам perf.


Exercise 1

концерт, облачен, резервирам, изглеждам


Exercise 2

забравя, внимателен, счупя, полет, рано, торта, пътуване, послушам, грешка