Student or Learner
1) You had never thought she would have had the confidence to do that.
Why ‘would have had’ is used instead of ‘had’? Any difference?
Can you give me more examples to explain why ‘would have had’ should be used.
Here the 1st clause is in past tense, to maintain temporal sequence, the second clause should be in future using past form of ‘will’. Let us understand by converting the first clause to present tense.:
You have never thought she will have the confidence to do that.
When you changed to past, the tense of second clause changed to ‘would have’ which discharges the auxiliary function and you need the past participle of the main verb after 'would have' and ‘had’ plays the role of the main verb. Similar sentences
By the time you had assembled the motorcycle together you would have had a new motorcycle all ready to go.
Even though She had wanted to buy that car she would not have had the money for it.
I'd say either of the following:
I would never have thought she had the confidence to do that.
I never thought she would have had the confidence to do that.
Even though the conditional appears in different clauses, pragmatically it means close enough to the same thing.
You're also likely to hear something simpler:
I didn't think she had the confidence to do that.
I didn't think she had it in her.