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While reading a book, I came across the sentence:

What I would give to have met him.

My question is why did the author use have met?

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have met means that it's the past tense. If they wrote

What I would give to meet him.

they're expressing a wish about the present or future.

The sentence as written implies that it's no longer possible to meet him (perhaps he's died), and the writer is lamenting that they wish they could have met him when it was possible.

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