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In English, there is a past future tense in sentences like "I was going to go home." I was wondering if Japanese had something like that.

私は東京に行くことになった。

This sentence seems to be something like "I became something that was going to go to Tokyo." However, is it possible to indicate "was going to go to" without the なった? For example, can 私は東京に行く mean "I was going to go to Tokyo"? At first, I thought no, but then I thought of Japanese literature that uses the historical present, which confused me. As an example, I tried writing how I thought Japanese literature would be written.

Alice had a headache. She wasn't going to go to Tokyo. I brought medicine.

アリスは頭が痛かった。彼女は東京に行かない。私は薬を持ってきた。

Wouldn't 彼女は東京に行かない be "she wasn't going to go to Tokyo"? In addition, if I wrote, "she wasn't going to go to Tokyo, so I brought medicine" and 彼女は東京に行かないから私は薬を持ってきた it still seems to work.

  • 1
    I would probably use 行くつもりだった myself, but it's not exactly the same meaning I think. I believe the sentence you provided would mean something more like, "it's been decided that I will go to Tokyo", not that you were going to. – Ciaran Sep 17 '16 at 8:46
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    That's not really a "past future" tense, as you put it. The sentence means "I was planning on going home," so I think Ciaran's translation works fine. You could also probably use 行く予定だった. – Kurausukun Sep 17 '16 at 10:31
  • I haven't seen any dictionaries that say なる means to decide or plan. – Joe Sep 18 '16 at 4:16
  • ... ことになっている。 can also be used for rules or conventions. ___ 彼はここに来ることになっている。 plan, schedule, (past decision) ___ This page might help. japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/19464/… – HizHa Sep 19 '16 at 7:06
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        (行くつもりだった and 行く予定だった are both good.)

One way to say "I was going to go to Tokyo." is:

東京に行くことになっていた。

Both versions above work for 1. (still going), and 2. (no longer going) cases, i think.

*** One diff. is that "I was going to go to Tokyo." can be used to mean. [I just got the notice; I was going to go to Tokyo after all.] But the Jp ver. can't be used that way. Maybe, but not in the same way.

http://www.geocities.jp/niwasaburoo/24asupekuto.html -- いやあ、ちょうど今、お届けにあがろうと思っていたところですよ。

Hello, I was going to bring it to you just now.
Hello, I was going to go bring it to you just now.
Hello, I was going to come by to bring it over to you just now.
.......... I was just now thinking I should ....
.......... I was just now thinking I would ....

A had a headache. She wasn't going to go to Tokyo.

*** This is the aforementioned [ (((Reason))) ; A wasn't going to go to Tokyo (after all).] pattern

(西村京太郎ふうに)

Aは頭痛を感じた。東京には行けなくなった。

頭がズキズキしてきた。東京には行けない。

後頭部に激しい痛み。東京行きは、なくなった。

http://www.geocities.jp/niwasaburoo/23tensu.html <-- I can't find anything relevant in the Tense chapter.


... ことになっている。 can also be used for rules or conventions.

 彼はここに来ることになっている。 plan, schedule, (past decision)

With that said, i'd say : that the correspondence has been well-established between [ ... was going to ...] and ことになっていた。

See:

  • oshiete.goo.ne.jp › 学問・教育 › 英語 2014/12/21 - ... I was going to go . . . 行くことになっていた(行くことが決まっていた) ...

  • ttps://basictravelenglish.wordpress.com/... ... I was going to make grilled lobster. (ロブスターを網揚げにしようと思っていたの。) ※「was going to」は「〜しようとしていた/〜するつもりだった」という意味。 ------ Ooops, wrong sample.

  • 付加疑問文の使い方と例文(練習問題あり) study.pink/tagquestion.html ------- ① :「することになっていた」だから、' was going to ' ですね。

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