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How is the "future in the past" rendered in Russian?

Example:

Context: A particular event was not planned for a certain evening, so I made other plans. At the last minute, however, the event wound up happening after all. My friend calls up and says:

Friend: Why weren't you at the event?

Me: I made other plans because there wasn't going to be an event.

All I can think of is ways to completely avoid the "future in the past":

Я не пришёл потому, что...

  1. не знал, что мероприятие бдует.
  2. думал, что мероприятия не будет.

Is there a better way to express this situation?

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  • In a nutshell, all the English Future in the Past tenses are rendered with the Russian Future tense, so you're absolutely right. – Yellow Sky Oct 10 '14 at 9:23
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You are correct, this is the best option. There is no future in the past tense in Russian as a separate language mechanism but it perfectly works as a way you have done it. So all situations like this are covered by putting verbs in the past and in the future tenses all together.

The only thing should be fixed is пришёл (instead of приходил) because it's совершенный вид глагола must be used in such a situation (I know it's a bit of hardness for learners of Russian language)

Я не пришёл потому, что...

  1. не знал, что мероприятие бдует.
  2. думал, что мероприятия не будет.
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  • Edited the question to change приходил to пришел, since that was just a mistake irrelevant to the question. – supergra Oct 11 '14 at 3:25
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"there wasn't going to be an event" has some connotations which are not represented by the translation "не знал/думал, что мероприятия (не) будет".

When you want to say "не знал, что мероприятие будет", you can perfectly fine say it in English "I didn't know that the event will happen [after all]". It's 100% correct translation which communicates the original meaning unchanged.

For the "because there wasn't going to be an event" there are 100% correct translation, which is "потому что мероприятия не должно было быть". Do note, however, that it's valid Russian, but somewhat too pedantic, no one speaks like that usually.

Also, yes, as @RuslanGerasimov noted, you don't usually speak "я не приходил", because it's technically something like Past Continuous in Russian (it meant literally that you haven't come several times a row, each time you were asked to come).

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  • 3
    Also to be a pedant a Sequence of Tenses should be used: "I didn't know that the even WOULD happen [after all]" – Ruslan Gerasimov Oct 10 '14 at 21:25
  • Ruslan's comment is correct. Thank you for the alternative (which I will avoid except if being extremely specific). – supergra Oct 10 '14 at 22:47
  • Oh, sure, sorry about the mistake. Thank you, @RuslanGerasimov – hijarian Oct 11 '14 at 9:24

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