I was taught to use past tense after the expression "as if" as in "he behaves as if he was a fool" (or past perfect as in "he behaved as if he had been a fool"). But so many times I see people writing both the verbs in the same tense (e.g. he behaves as if he IS a fool" - not sure it's right) and I don't have an idea when to use what. So could anyone please explain me when I should use "as if IS" and when "as if were" (If the main verb is in the same tense in the both, present simple I suppose).
Thanks in advance.
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Comments  (Page 3) 
'It is as if I had a million pounds'. That's what I would write, Mav. He doesn't have a million pounds. It is hypothetical.

Is there further confusion?
Yes, MrM, I am sorry for my being dumb but I have to ask you another question:
'It is as if I had a million pounds' ===> So it the past it is:
'It was as if I had had a million pounds' ???
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Not 'dumb' at all. You have seen how contentious this area can become among grammarians.

Yes, indeed, the past would then be: 'It was as if I had had a million pounds'. One way of expressing a nonfactual past.
Sir, please take a look at that conversation:
Is it grammatical to say:
"He acts as if he is crazy" or "he acted as if he were crazy"?

As far as I know the grammatical form for 'behaved' one is 'he behaved as if he had been crazy'. Ain't I right?

"it's not that "he acts as if he is crazy" is incorrect, it's just that "he acted as if he were crazy" sounds better. HOWEVER - what are you trying to say? That he always acts that way (the first sentence) or that he did on a specific occasion (the second).

"as if he had been crazy" is not right. It implies that he once was crazy and now isn't but you're saying at the same time "behaved" - totally confusing

Put short, you're talking about reported speech, but this is a sentence using the subjunctive.


Are they right?
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For some rambling ruminations on 'As if', As if

Mr.P., thank you for your helpful (as usual) explanation...
I'd like to ask you some questions:
6) It's not as [it would be] if it was my fault. (Not 'were': cf. 'if it was my fault, it would be like this'. )
9) It looks as [it would look] if [it were true that] he was lying. (Not 'were'.)

In this two I didn't understand why not 'were'.

*** Can I parahprase '13' into
'It's not as [it would be] if it was(\were) my fault'?

Could you please clarify this points to me?
Hello Maverick

I'm sorry, I moved my post to the Linguistics forum at the very moment you were answering it!

(It seemed to me on reflection that I shouldn't chime in at such a late stage with such a rambling post.)

If it's all right with you, I'll answer your questions on the other thread – you'll find a link in the post above yours.

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