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I was going to pick you tomorrow from the airport (not a big deal to me, really), but remembered that tomorrow I'll be teaching the class, which ends at 8.

in above example, I am trying to say that earlier I planned to pick you up (tomorrow), but now I remember that I have prior commitments tomorrow, and hence can longer do it.

What's the best way to say something like this and use I was going expression.


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“I was going to pick you tomorrow from the airport” sounds perfectly fine to me. What’s wrong with that? If I am not mistaken, “I’ll be teaching” should be “I would be teaching” (and “which ends at 8” should be “which would end at 8”?? not so sure about this…) because “remembered” is the past tense. (I am not a native speaker of English.) – Tsuyoshi Ito Oct 24 '10 at 19:48
By the way, I would say “I was going to pick you up at the airport tomorrow.” – Tsuyoshi Ito Oct 24 '10 at 19:52
"I'll be teaching" is fine because we are talking about a time that will happen in the future (tomorrow) at the time the message is read. If the teaching already happened by the time the message is read, then you would need to change to "would be teaching". – Kosmonaut Oct 24 '10 at 22:13
Teaching will only happen tomorrow, I planned yesterday, and I wrote this message today. – Anderson Silva Oct 24 '10 at 23:11
@Kosmonaut: I did not know that. Thanks! – Tsuyoshi Ito Oct 24 '10 at 23:41
up vote 4 down vote accepted

It sounds fine the way you have it (except for the "pick you up tomorrow" part). I guess you could change it to

I had planned to pick you up tomorrow […].

and it sounds a little more formal.

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protected by Will Hunting Nov 14 '12 at 12:21

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