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1) You treat them as if they "are" telling the truth or as if they have behaved properly, even though you are not sure that this is the case.


2) You treat them as if they "were" telling the truth or as if they have behaved properly, even though you are not sure that this is the case.


I'm not sure whether both are semantically, grammatically correct. If so, what's the meaning difference between 1 and 2?

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'as if' does not work exactly as 'if' alone does.

Almost any tense in the English language can be found after 'as if'.

In your example sentence it seems that 'are' is better than 'were'.

CJ