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Hello all,

I thought that the "as if" construction could not be followed by the Present Simple tense because what follows is hypothetical. But recently I stumbled across this sentence:

"It's great already, just seeing it in three-dee and talking with you just as if you're real."

Could you please explain to me this usage?

Anton
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Hi

as if + present simple = something which may be true

Example - it looks as if the weather is improving.
Thank you, Optilang.
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Ant_222 "It's great already, just seeing it in three-dee and talking with you just as if you're real."
I'm not sure of the context here, but to me it's simply bad language.

People today are quite sophisticated, and unlikely to be truly confused between reality and "virtual reality." Emotion: rolleyes

On the other hand, we often say in simple present, (actually, imperative) "Act as if I'm there beside you, holding your hand."

This seems as acceptable as the subjunctive, "Act as if I were there," or the simple past substitute, "Act as if I was there etc."

(I know I'm not really explaining anything.) Emotion: embarrassed
Ant_222I thought that the "as if" construction could not be followed by the Present Simple tense
Well, you thought wrong, dintcha? Emotion: big smile

I can't think of a tense that can't be used after as if.

It looks as if they will arrive earlier than usual.
Sharon is behaving as if she has just seen a ghost.

Karen talks as if she knows what she's talking about.
John had no authority in the office, but he always acted as if he did.

CJ
I can recall I have asked the question is pretty close to presented here.

http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/AsIfWhatIf/hkrqz/post.htm#634746

It can help also.
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Wow. Thanks to all of you for your feedback!

Avangi:
«I'm not sure of the context here, but to me it's simply bad language.»

The context is the following: a girl is playing a very unusual computer game (which then turns out to be a portal to another world, and not a game at all), which offers an amazingly high level of engagement and immersion that allows the girl to feel almost as if she was wholly inside the game. Even as she types (the game seems to be an old-style graphical Interactive Ficttion, much like Star Heritage, the translation whereof to English was once a source of many of my posts here) game commands she feels as if she was talking not typing, and the display has become 3d to her perception (after she "refocused" her eyes after the fashion of those 3d-grams (not sure how they're called in English) where you have to make two dots look like three and then a plain regular pattern will turn into a 3d image) and although she is still aware of its being just a computer game (which is wrong) nothing else stops her from taking it for just another reality. And she pronounces the above phrase talking to one of the game's characters.

The book is called "Demons don't dream" (by Pierce Anthony) and I thought I'd have a look at it 'cause I am missing old-school games. And am remembering my ZX Spectrum and MSDOS days with warmth and nostalgy. Also I have read books dealing with old games in this way or that, like Victor Pelevin's «The Prince of Central Planning», Sergey Luk"yanenko's «The Labirinth of Reflections» (which I didn't like at all) and the humorous «Failure of the Resident Virus» by Denis Sadoshenko.

Avagni:
«People today are quite sophisticated, and unlikely to be truly confused between reality and "virtual reality."»

Aren't they getting confused more and more? Remeber that Interner addction and Computer games addiction which are considered diseases by some doctors. Coupled with the development of technology, which makes virtual worlds more and more real, doesn't that bring us into the Cyberpunk era?

CalifJim:
«Well, you thought wrong, dintcha?»

Well, well... Emotion: smile

As for your examples, I got a question only about this one:
«Karen talks as if she knows what she's talking about.»

Am I right that the difference between this and the subjunctive version ("as if she knew") is that the latter implies that she doesn't know what she's talking about?

Fandorin:
«I can recall I have asked the question is pretty close to presented here.»

Thanks. It was interesting to know about CJ's suggestion to consider "as if" as "like", for I too was temted to do so. This raises another question: can a subjucntive work after "like" like it does after "as if". For example, is this sentence correct and are "as if" and "like" interchangeable:
«He acts like he was a professional photographer», I suppose only "as if" fits here... Am I wrong again?

Anton
«He acts like he was a professional photographer», I suppose only "as if" fits here... Am I wrong again?

I personally wouldn't hesitate to use "He acts like he were a pro. etc."

But it's getting a little out of style.Emotion: rolleyes

We're dealing with multiple issues here. I took your original as wondering if "as if" always indicated a hypothetical situation. Optilang gave an example where it wouldn't, but I felt it didn't apply to your original example.

I think I'm going to have to go back to the drawing board, and start over.
Well, Anton, you do ask some challenging questions!
Ant_222As for your examples, I got a question only about this one:
«Karen talks as if she knows what she's talking about.»

Am I right that the difference between this and the subjunctive version ("as if she knew") is that the latter implies that she doesn't know what she's talking about?
Yes. I would say that the subjunctive indicates that the speaker is more doubtful about Karen's knowledge -- without going so far as to say that she doesn't know anything at all about the matter, whatever it might be.
Ant_222can a subjucntive work after "like" like it does after "as if". For example, is this sentence correct and are "as if" and "like" interchangeable:
«He acts like he was a professional photographer», I suppose only "as if" fits here...
My American Heritage Dictionary has some remarks on this. It says there that it's a matter of differences between formal writing and other forms of language, such as ordinary conversation. In formal writing, as is the preferred conjunction, so whenever there is a verb to connect to, as is the right word. Otherwise (as a preposition), like is OK. Hence,

He swims like a fish. (not as)
He swims as a fish swims. (not like)
He swims as if he were a fish. (not like)

In less formal situations, the two are very frequently used interchangeably. But (to answer another of your questions) like does not take the subjunctive.

He swims like a fish swims. (informal)
He swims like he were a fish. (NO!) (paceAvangi Emotion: smile )

He swims like he is a fish. (informal)
He swims like he was a fish. (Awkward. Not recommended, but sometimes heard.)
He swam like he was a fish. (informal)

(Note that your He acts like he was ... fits into the "not recommended" category. Personally, I'd go for ... acts as if he were ....)

(By the way, judgments about what is "recommended" (or not) in this post are my judgments -- not those of the American Heritage Dictionary. The dictionary didn't mention anything specifically about that construction -- though I doubt they would approve of using it.)

CJ
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