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Does

If man continues to scathe all of Earth and its seas, then this isn’t the world I thought it to be

make sense? Or should I just replace the 'to' with 'would'?

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1  
Yes, makes sense and is grammatical. Its literary style or suitability otherwise may be a different matter, though. Replacing with would gives a different meaning as you know -- so choice depends on what you meant to say. Instead you could consider was in place of to be. –  Kris Dec 7 '13 at 6:48
    
Maybe the disagreement between the two men had not been as resolved as Chelsea had thought it to be. (Victoria Morris); Eventually Orwell came to understand that this was not the practical policy he had at first thought it to be. (Lionel Trilling); –  Kris Dec 7 '13 at 6:52
    
Kris please post it as an answer. –  Preetie Sekhon Dec 7 '13 at 6:56

1 Answer 1

I completely agree with Kris.

It is grammatical and comprehensible.

I thought it to be translates into I thought it is/was.

Would has an element of prediction or hope which is not your intention I presume.

To is more assertive and definitely well suited.

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