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  1. #1
    roseriver1012's Avatar
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    about "as if"

    Here is the exercise that puzzles me:
    So you are back. Jenny has come to your office several times this morning, as if _________ something important.
    A. to look for B. looking for

    The answer is B. I can't tell why A is not right here. Looking forward to your opinion. Thanks for help!

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: about "as if"

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    Here is the exercise that puzzles me:
    So you are back. Jenny has come to your office several times this morning, as if _________ something important.
    A. to look for B. looking for

    The answer is B. I can't tell why A is not right here. Looking forward to your opinion. Thanks for help!
    I'd say "... as if she were looking for something important". The "she were" is ellipsed out. Perhaps that explains the answer.

    Otherwise, as has been demonstrated many times here, sometimes you use "to <verb>" and sometimes you use "<verbing>", and it's difficult to give a rule.

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    Re: about "as if"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'd say "... as if she were looking for something important". The "she were" is ellipsed out. Perhaps that explains the answer.

    Otherwise, as has been demonstrated many times here, sometimes you use "to <verb>" and sometimes you use "<verbing>", and it's difficult to give a rule.
    Then is it also right to say the full sentence can be "as if she wanted to look for sth important"? I mean, if you, a native speaker, were asked to give a choice to complete this sentence, would you feel not sure about the two, or according to the context this sentence gives, you would think it better to say "as if looking for..."?

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    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: about "as if"

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    Then is it also right to say the full sentence can be "as if she wanted to look for sth important"? I mean, if you, a native speaker, were asked to give a choice to complete this sentence, would you feel not sure about the two, or according to the context this sentence gives, you would think it better to say "as if looking for..."?
    Sorry, I should have made clear that I thought B was the better answer. If those are your choices, then B.
    A. is not incorrect though.

    Yes, that's a good point you make. You could interpolate words to make almost any answer fit. And you're right that "to look for" could have "she wanted" ellipted out.

    So, the reason must be something different - such as that it just sounds better (to me and the examiner, at least).

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    Re: about "as if"

    Then how should I explain it to my students?

  6. #6
    kerry123 is offline Newbie
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    Re: about "as if"

    Hi, Ray
    How about "as if she had been looking for something important"?
    Is it acceptable?

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: about "as if"

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    Then how should I explain it to my students?
    If I were you, I would explain that they will occasionally get questions in which two answers are correct, and that they can't expect to get 100%.
    You could also explain that many of them (students) are likely to be more intelligent and brighter than the people who set the exams, and might therefore see possibilities that have escaped attention by the examiners.
    You could also explain that, while the examiners might think that only one answer is grammatically correct, a native speaker will easily see that two or more are correct.
    Also, there is sometimes no way to explain what people (e.g. examiners) do.

    Let me know how they take it.

  8. #8
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    Re: about "as if"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    If I were you, I would explain that they will occasionally get questions in which two answers are correct, and that they can't expect to get 100%.
    You could also explain that many of them (students) are likely to be more intelligent and brighter than the people who set the exams, and might therefore see possibilities that have escaped attention by the examiners.
    You could also explain that, while the examiners might think that only one answer is grammatically correct, a native speaker will easily see that two or more are correct.
    Also, there is sometimes no way to explain what people (e.g. examiners) do.

    Let me know how they take it.
    One of my students gives a good reason. He says since Jenny has come to the office several times, it's better to say "she is looking for sth" to show her state. If she has come to the office only once, then we can say "as if she wants to look for sth". I accept the theory. What do you think?

  9. #9
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: about "as if"

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    One of my students gives a good reason. He says since Jenny has come to the office several times, it's better to say "she is looking for sth" to show her state. If she has come to the office only once, then we can say "as if she wants to look for sth". I accept the theory. What do you think?
    That's reasonable.

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