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    #1

    He paused, as if to let the painful memories pass

    He paused, as if to let the painful memories pass.
    -----------
    Can I take it to mean:

    a. He paused, as if (he was) to let the painful memories pass.
    b. He paused, as if (he was going) to let the painful memories pass.

    Are both of them acceptable? If not, could you tell me your opinion?

    ----------
    (Source)
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

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    #2

    Re: He paused, as if to let the painful memories pass

    Sentence b is fine. The other is incorrect.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: He paused, as if to let the painful memories pass

    Quote Originally Posted by kadioguy View Post
    a. He paused, as if (he was) to let the painful memories pass.
    b. He paused, as if (he was going) to let the painful memories pass.
    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Sentence b is fine. The other is incorrect.
    Thank you.

    Why is sentence (a) incorrect? Could you tell me more about that?

    PS - Other members' opinions are also welcome.

    ---------
    I just found this:

    He opened his mouth as if he was to speak.
    → He opened his mouth as if to speak.


    http://www.talxfun.com/blog/%E7%BF%B...d-articles/299

    Do you think it is incorrect?
    Last edited by kadioguy; 10-Aug-2019 at 13:33. Reason: added contents
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

  4. YAMATO2201's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: He paused, as if to let the painful memories pass

    Quote Originally Posted by kadioguy View Post
    He paused, as if to let the painful memories pass.
    -----------
    Can I take it to mean:

    a. He paused, as if (he was) to let the painful memories pass.
    b. He paused, as if (he was going) to let the painful memories pass.
    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Sentence b is fine. The other is incorrect.
    Is the following interpretation impossible?

    c. He paused, as if (in order) to let the painful memories pass.
    I am not a teacher. I am currently studying basic English grammar.

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    #5

    Re: He paused, as if to let the painful memories pass

    Quote Originally Posted by YAMATO2201 View Post
    Is the following interpretation impossible?

    c. He paused, as if (in order) to let the painful memories pass.
    Yes.

    My apologies. I misread your question. It is far from impossible.
    Last edited by Piscean; 10-Aug-2019 at 15:32.

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    #6

    Re: He paused, as if to let the painful memories pass

    Quote Originally Posted by kadioguy View Post
    Why is sentence (a) incorrect? Could you tell me more about that?

    If we say 'he was to' to something, the idea is that there was a plan, schedule, order/etc for him to do it.


    He opened his mouth as if he was to speak.
    → He opened his mouth as if to speak.

    http://www.talxfun.com/blog/%E7%BF%B...d-articles/299

    Do you think it is incorrect?
    Yes. It will be OK if you add 'about' after 'was'.

  7. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: He paused, as if to let the painful memories pass

    I don't think you've understood correctly. Look at it like this:

    He paused, to let the painful memories pass.

    The infinitive form in blue above is an infinitive of purpose. The sentence means that letting the painful memories pass was the purpose of the pausing. Instead of just to let, you could say in order to let.

    By adding as if, you add the sense that his pausing merely gave the appearance that letting the memories pass was its purpose.

    Another way of explaining the sense of the sentence is: it seemed that the reason he paused was to let the painful memories pass.

    Does that make sense?

  8. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: He paused, as if to let the painful memories pass

    Quote Originally Posted by YAMATO2201 View Post
    Is the following interpretation impossible?

    c. He paused, as if (in order) to let the painful memories pass.
    No, I think that is what it means.

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    #9

    Re: He paused, as if to let the painful memories pass

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    If we say 'he was to' to something, the idea is that there was a plan, schedule, order/etc for him to do it.

    (1)
    He paused, as if he was to let the painful memories pass.
    (2)
    He paused, as if he was going to let the painful memories pass.
    (3)
    He paused, as if he was about to let the painful memories pass.

    Could you please tell me what is the difference in meaning among them?


    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I don't think you've understood correctly. Look at it like this:

    He paused, to let the painful memories pass.

    The infinitive form in blue above is an infinitive of purpose. The sentence means that letting the painful memories pass was the purpose of the pausing. Instead of just to let, you could say in order to let.

    By adding as if, you add the sense that his pausing merely gave the appearance that letting the memories pass was its purpose.

    Another way of explaining the sense of the sentence is: it seemed that the reason he paused was to let the painful memories pass.

    Does that make sense?
    (1) He paused, as if he was to let the painful memories pass.
    (2)
    He paused, as if he was going to let the painful memories pass.
    (3)
    He paused, as if he was about to let the painful memories pass.
    (4) He paused, as if (in order) to let the painful memories pass.

    Do you mean the original sentence means (4), rather than (1), (2), or (3)? And do you think (4) is different in meaning from (1), (2), or (3)?
    I am not a teacher. If there is anything ungrammatical in my post, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.

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    #10

    Re: He paused, as if to let the painful memories pass

    Quote Originally Posted by Yamato
    Is the following interpretation impossible?

    c. He paused, as if (in order) to let the painful memories pass.
    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    No, I think that is what it means.
    I agree that this interpretation is possible. I have corrected my blunder in post #5.
    Last edited by Piscean; 10-Aug-2019 at 17:16.

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