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(a) He talks as if he has been to New York.

(b) He talks as if he had been to New York.

Hi!

Both correct? or only one is correct?
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Pructus(a) He talks as if he has been to New York.

(b) He talks as if he had been to New York.

Hi!Both correct? or only one is correct?

Both.

From my understanding, 'as if' should be followed by past tense because it refers to something that is unreal. So, I think only (b) is correct.
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a) If it seems possible that he has been to NYC (he talks like a man who has indeed been to NYC).
b) If it's impossible (counterfactual) that he has been to NYC.

Mark Israell says:
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The past subjunctive is used:

(1) for counterfactual conditionals: "If I were..." or
(literary) "Were I...". In informal English, substitution of
the past indicative form ("If I was...") is common. But note
that speakers who make this substitution are still
distinguishing possible conditions from counterfactual ones,
by a change of tense:

Present Past

Possible condition: "If I am" "If I was"

Counterfactual condition: "If I were/was" "If I had been"

...
"As if" and "as though" were originally always used to introduce
counterfactuals, but are now often used in "looks as if",
"sounds as though", etc., to introduce things that the speaker
actually believes ("It looks as if" = "It appears that"). In
such cases the present indicative is often used.
("As if" and
"as though" are exceptions to the above table in that they take
the past subjunctive, not the pluperfect subjunctive, for
counterfactuals in the past. The past tense of "If he were a
fool, he would mention it" is "If he had been a fool, he would
have mentioned it"; but the past tense of "He talks as if he
were a fool" is "He talked as if he were a fool." "He talked as
if he had been a fool" would mean that he seemed, not foolish,
but regretful of earlier foolishness.)

...

http://alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxsubjun.html
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Along these lines (if he is NOT a New Yorker):

He talks as if he were a New Yorker.
He talked as if he were a New Yorker.
Hey Marius Emotion: smile
I was going to answer, but your post kept changing... I was so confused! (I guess you were still editing it)

Maybe you first wrote that b) was the right answer, but now I see you think a) is the right one, which is what I wanted to say. You also posted the reason.
Emotion: smile
OK, now you have a more complete answerEmotion: smile
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Pructus(a) He talks as if he has been to New York.

(b) He talks as if he had been to New York.

Hi! Both correct? or only one is correct?

Sentence a. indicates that he has probably been to New York, whereas b. signifies that he hasn't been to NY before.

Many thanks to you all....

- Pructus
I'm kind of confused

He talked as if he were a New Yorker. ( The speaker doesn't believe he is a New Yorker)

So, what is the right sentence in past tense that shows the speaker believe he is a New Yorker?

He talked as if he was a New Yorker. This is my guess. Maybe there is such no distinction between counterfactual and factual cases in past tense.
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