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Isabelle would have just loved to have met you.

This phrase from a movie and I'm bit confused that why do we use '..to have met you' instead of using '...to have meet'. I know that the clause 'would have just' is being used for showing presumption and I don't get is the part which I pointed before. Would you please explain this for me?

  • It's not because of the presence of "would have ...", but because "to have met you" is the perfect which requires that "have" be followed by the past participle "met", not "meet". Note that you could also say "Isabelle would have just loved to meet you", where "to meet you" is a non-perfect infinitival clause. – BillJ Sep 3 '17 at 7:50
  • @BillJ - Are there any wrong (different meaning) if we use the non-perfect infinitival clause here? – Yasmika Saubhagya Sep 3 '17 at 10:12
  • No difference to speak of. – BillJ Sep 4 '17 at 8:12
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"Would have loved" indicates the desire was in the past. If the possible meeting was also in the past, then "to have met" is correct.

She would have loved to have met you (but unfortunately you left before she arrived)

This says the desire remains, but you missed the opportunity. However, if you use "to meet", the meeting could still happen, but it suggests the desire, or the opportunity, is now gone:

I would have loved to meet you (but now I don't want to anymore).

I would have loved to meet you (but I'm leaving the country for a year-long expedition to Antarctica)

  • I think the first sentence should be "I'd have loved to have met you". Thanks for your explanation, anyway. – Yasmika Saubhagya Sep 4 '17 at 4:26
  • @YasmikaSaubhagya "I'd have ..." is the contraction of "I would have ..." They are the same. – Andrew Sep 4 '17 at 4:34

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