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What's the difference in meaning between the following two sentences?

  1. He thought that he would remain young.
  2. He thought that he would have remained young.
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What do you think? –  coleopterist Mar 12 '13 at 18:19
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1 Answer 1

"He thought that he would remain young." He may be young now, and thinks he will remain young forever. Or he may now be old, and this is a statement about what he thought in the past.

"He thought that he would have remained young." He is now old, and is reflecting on an erroneous belief that he previously held, that he would have remained young.

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