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    #1

    would defeat/ would have defeated

    "P.B. Shelley thought man's good nature would defeat/would have defeated evil":
    I can't understand the difference between the two verb forms: which is the correct one?
    The sentence comes from a kind of translation from English into Italian of a brief introduction to the English Romanticism . Help me, please!
    I think "would defeat" could be the right option: do you agree? Which is the difference between the two forms? Thanks a lot in advance!

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: would defeat/ would have defeated

    would defeat - in the future (from Shelley's point of view)
    would have defeated - ​in the past (from Shelleys point of view.'

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: would defeat/ would have defeated

    The choice depends on context.

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    #4

    Re: would defeat/ would have defeated

    I'd guess that Shelley was looking ahead, in which case would defeat would work. But, as said above, the context is essential.

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