6 ways to talk about a missed situation: "I was going to"


Hi. This is Gill at www.engvid.com, and today, we have a lesson which was requested by Karim,

who left a comment on our website. So, Karim, I hope you're watching. This is for you. Okay.

So, the subject of the lesson is called: "Missed Situation", which means you were going to

do something, but something else happened and it stopped you doing what you wanted to

do. So, there are different ways of expressing this in English. So I'm going to show you

six different ways of talking about this kind of situation. Okay, so we have the first three

examples on the board, so let's have a look.

So: "I was going to go shopping,"-that was my intention. I have planned to go shopping-"but"-and

there's always a "but"-"I got a phone call which lasted nearly an hour,"-someone phoned

me and I was talking for nearly an hour-"and by the time the call ended"-when I finished

the call, a whole hour had gone by-"the shops were all shut." The shops had closed, so that

meant I could not go shopping. Okay? So I was going to go shopping, but da-da-lum, and

by the time the call ended, the shops were all shut. So my plan to go shopping - I couldn't

go. Right? So that's one way: "I was going to, but..." All right?

Another way of saying this is: "I was all set to", I had everything arranged. "I was

all set to go on holiday, but then my car broke down,"-something went wrong with my

car-"and I had to spend the money on repairs instead." Instead of going on holiday. The

money I was going to spend on the holiday, I had to spend that money getting the car

repaired. Okay. So, again: "All set to", "I was all set to". Maybe I'd got my suitcase

packed, I'd taken time of work, I was ready to go on holiday, but this happened and I

had to spend the money on repairs instead. Okay?

Right, and then the third example, this is talking to somebody. You had an intention,

but you didn't do it, and that this is the reason why. "I would have called you yesterday,"-I

would have phoned you yesterday-"but my phone wasn't working." Okay? So: "I would have",

I was wanting to. I would have, but something stopped me - my phone wasn't working.

Okay, so that's three ways of saying what you meant to do and it didn't happen. We'll

now move on to another three.

Okay, so our next three examples. "I had every intention of returning the book to the library",

I planned to, I was going to. "I had every intention of returning the book to the library",

this is a book that you borrow from the library, and if you don't return it by a certain date,

they usually charge you a fee for late returning. So: "I had every intention of returning the

book to the library last week, but"-"but" again-"I have a friend staying,"-that's a

friend staying with me at my home-"and she's been reading it." So because my friend is

reading the book, I can't return it yet. Okay? So once she's gone home, I will return it,

but not yet. Okay.

Next example: "I had it all arranged to give my friend a surprise party", so I had made

the arrangements; I had all the plans, I had invited people on a particular date and at

a time. It was all arranged. "I had it all arranged to give my friend a surprise party,"-a

party that she didn't know about-"but then she found out"-she discovered, she found out

about my plan, she discovered my plan-"and said she didn't want one!" She didn't want

a surprise party. Okay? Some people love surprise parties; some people hate them. So, obviously,

this person hates surprise parties.

I once had a surprise party which I didn't know about, and it was okay. It was a surprise,

obviously, but it was okay. Arranged by my husband. And then a few years later he was

trying to arrange another one, but when I discovered that he was doing it, I said: "No,

no. I don't want it this time." So if you find out about something, it's possible you

don't actually want it. But anyway.

Okay, and then finally one example here is a little bit different. It's not a missed

situation, but the wording of it is quite useful because it's something that you did

do, but you wished that you hadn't. You think: "Oh, why did I do that? That was stupid."

So it's a reverse of the missed situation. It's a situation you should have missed; it

would have been better if you had missed it.

So: "If only" is a very good phrase to use. "If only I'd listened to your advice, then",

so there's no "but" this time; there's a "then". "Then I wouldn't have invested with that bank."

I wouldn't have put some money into that bank. And then you can add another sentence: "As

it is", meaning: I did do that and what happened was. "As it is,"-now-"I've lost a lot of money."

It was a bad investment. The bank... It wasn't a good bank to invest with. So if only I'd

listened, I wouldn't have invested. As it is, I've lost a lot of money. Okay? So that's

the reverse of the missed situation.

So, I hope all those wordings are helpful for you in describing something that you missed,

but you wanted to do, or perhaps something you did do that you wish you hadn't done.

And if you'd like to test yourself on these words, please go to the website www.engvid.com

where there is a quiz. And if you found this lesson helpful, please subscribe to my channel

on YouTube. And hope to see you again very soon. Okay, thanks for watching. Bye.