Results 1 to 7 of 7
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Saudi Arabia
      • Current Location:
      • Saudi Arabia

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 240
    #1

    As if sentence

    Is it correct?
    He talks as if he knows me.

    If I say:
    He talks as if he knew me.

    Correct

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,868
    #2

    Re: As if sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by diplomacy View Post
    Is it correct?
    He talks as if he knows me.

    If I say:
    He talks as if he knew me.

    Correct
    I think if you added a timescale it might work.

    He talks as if he knew me in a previous life.

    The talking takes place now but the man speaks as if you had previously known each other.

    Otherwise, I would use "He talks as if he knows me" or "He talked as if he knew me".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. CarloSsS's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Czech
      • Home Country:
      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 629
    #3

    Re: As if sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I think if you added a timescale it might work.

    He talks as if he knew me in a previous life.

    The talking takes place now but the man speaks as if you had previously known each other.

    Otherwise, I would use "He talks as if he knows me" or "He talked as if he knew me".
    NOT A TEACHER

    If I heard only "He talks as if he knew me", I'd think that the speaker is trying to say that they don't know each other, but the other talks to him in a way that suggests that they know each other even though they don't.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #4

    Re: As if sentence

    Mr Smith would talk that way if he knew me.

    In this second conditional sentence, the past-form knew distances the 'knowing' in reality. We know that a hypothetical 'knowing' is being spoken of. Mr Smith does not know the speaker.

    He talks as if he [KNOW] me.

    Here the as if tells us already that we are speaking of a hypothetical 'knowing'. Many speakers therefore feel no need for the distancing form knew, especially as it could suggest a past 'knowing', as ems suggested.

  4. CarloSsS's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Czech
      • Home Country:
      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 629
    #5

    Re: As if sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Mr Smith would talk that way if he knew me.

    In this second conditional sentence, the past-form knew distances the 'knowing' in reality. We know that a hypothetical 'knowing' is being spoken of. Mr Smith does not know the speaker.

    He talks as if he [KNOW] me.

    Here the as if tells us already that we are speaking of a hypothetical 'knowing'. Many speakers therefore feel no need for the distancing form knew, especially as it could suggest a past 'knowing', as ems suggested.
    What if I had these two sentences? Do they both mean that she definitely is not rich?

    She looks as if she is rich.
    She looks as if she was rich.

    If I understand you correctly, these two are interchangeable and mean essentially the same thing and there's no need for distancing.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #6

    Re: As if sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    What if I had these two sentences? Do they both mean that she definitely is not rich?

    She looks as if she is rich.
    She looks as if she was rich.

    If I understand you correctly, these two are interchangeable and mean essentially the same thing and there's no need for distancing.
    We have a further complicator there, looks = appears. This itself suggests that things may not be what they seem to be. The first suggests to me that her appearance gives the impression that she is rich; the second that her appearance gives the impression that she was rich.

    I remember a thread on this not long after I joined the forum. By the end of it, I was unsure what meant what. I think that this is one of those areas where the two parties in a conversation know, with the help of context, what is meant, and grammarians analyse it at their peril. In formal writing, I would think very carefully about how I composed my sentence.

  6. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #7

    Re: As if sentence

    I have located a couple of threads on this. Warning: they are not for the faint-hearted.

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...l-factual.html

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...re-doctor.html

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30-Apr-2012, 21:51
  2. Which is the correct sentence for reporting the sentence?
    By Tan Elaine in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-Sep-2011, 15:13
  3. [General] How can I change this normal sentence to questioning sentence?
    By mokbon in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 22-Aug-2011, 03:32
  4. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-Nov-2008, 19:23
  5. Are there softwares to speak English sentence by sentence
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 18-Feb-2004, 18:25

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •