Interested in Language
He is a student but he speaks as if he was/were a teacher. (he is not a teacher)
This is my question:
What happens if the sentence starts in the past tense?
He was a student ......................
Would you please write the rest of the sentence if used with simple past?
Last edited by sb70012; 03-Oct-2013 at 13:23.
This is my last question.
Let's omit [he is a student] and [he was a student]
He speaks as if he is a teacher. (he is a teacher)
He speaks as if he was/were a teacher. (he is not a teacher)
Now would you please rewrite them with [He poke]?
I mean would you please be nice enough to fulfill the blanks?
He spoke as if he ........... a teacher. (he was a teacher)
He spoke as if he ........... a teacher. (he was not a teacher)
Then how should we know if the speaker means (he was a teacher) or (he was not a teacher)?
You see now what I am confused with?
As you know in simple present, we don't have any confusion and the main goal of the speaker is clear.
I mean here the meanings without more context is very clear. We use "is" when we mean that "he is really a teacher" and we use "was" when we mean that "he is not a teacher and he just looks like a teacher"
So if our sentence starts with [as if] in simple present it's very easy to recognize what the speaker means.
1. He speaks as if he is a teacher. (he is a teacher)
2. He speaks as if he was/were a teacher. (he is not a teacher)
But I wish there was a clue in [as if] if it started in simple past.
Before asking this question, I thought that the blanks would be written in this form:
He spoke as if he ...[was]....... a teacher. (he was a teacher)
He spoke as if he ...[had been]... a teacher. (he was not a teacher)
As you see, in simple present, without more context it's easy to know the meanings by [is] and [was]. But if for simple past we use [was] for both then recognizing the main meaning will be very difficult.
Bhaisahad, I think you are right. We can't use "had been"
I found the answer of my question in this link too: AS IF / AS THOUGH | Grammaring - A guide to English grammar
You are right, without more context it can't be done.
Ok now I completely understood it.
In this website this is written:AS IF / AS THOUGH | Grammaring - A guide to English grammar
If the preceding verb is put into the past tense, the present perfect hasn't slept changes into past perfect, while the past perfect subjunctive hadn't slept stays the same:He seemed as if he hadn't slept for days.
This is my question: Can I write "didn't slept" instead of "hadn't slept"?