Hi everybody, I can't understand when to use those two forms outside an if clause. For example I've found these sentences on Cambirdge Dictionaries Online: 1. We realized it wouldn't be easy to find another secretary. 2. We thought they would have got home by five o'clock, but there was no reply when we phoned. Both refer to a future time in a past event, so why the first use "would + base form" and the second one "would + present perfect"? I perfectly know how to use one tense and when the other one in hypothetical clauses, but not in cases like these. I can't understand the second one. I would have said: -We thought (in the past) that they would get home by five o'clock (in the future). Since in not reported speech it would be: -We think that they will get home by five o'clock. - But in this case, if I attached "but there was no reply when we phoned" it wouldn't make sense. The Dictionary explains that the first refers to a future time from a point of view of the past, and the second one to a future time from the point of view in the future (why future?). However I can't see this difference of the two points of view. I hope I have been clear enough about what I would want to know from you. Thank you in advance, bye.