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  1. #1
    Progress is offline Member
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    Default as if subjunctive mood

    Bullying takes many forms. "Boys kick and punch, but girls use their mouths," Emma said to her father. Three girls in her class were trying to ignore her. In the morning, these female classmates would run away screaming when they spotted Emma, as if they had seen something terrible. In the class room, they would whisper among themselves while looking at her.

    First, what is the usage of the would? Is it like in "when he were prepared, we would go" sequence of tenses that after some actions in a point of the past, another action occurs a litle bit later in the past which is a kind of future thing for the first action or a custom in the past as "when I was a child, my grandpa would often take me to the park"

    Second, the usage of as if + subjunctive mood, he looks(present) as if he had seen (before the present time type 3)a ghost. he looked(past) as if he had seen (before the past time type 3) the ghost. Incidentatlly do you say he looked/looks as if he were seeing(the same time type 2) a ghost as "He sang as if he knew me (the same time in the past type 2)" In the underlined sentence, I think it is the same time when they spotted Emma and when they saw something terrible, Emma, (not actually terrible) for them, why past perfect(type 3) is used, to describe the two actions which occured at the same time with using subujunctive mood, should type 2 be used ? The word see made so?

    Thank you very much

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: as if subjunctive mood

    Would- it has a similar meaning to 'used to'; it's a past habit, though it can only be used with actions, not states.
    As if- If it's an unreal condition, you can use the subjunctive 'were'. In the underlined sentence, the pretend seeing is fractionally before the running away.

  3. #3
    Progress is offline Member
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    Default Re: as if subjunctive mood

    Thanks Tdol

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