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‎1. She portrayed him as moving with a bible in his hand.

2. She portrayed him like moving with a bible in his hand.

Q1) Are both sentences correct?

(I would say yes)

Q2) Is there any difference in meaning?

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(2) is not correct.

(1) seems unusual or hard to understand. What sense of "portrayed" do you intend? Are you talking about someone drawing/painting a picture?

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Comments  
fire1Q1) Are both sentences correct?

No. Number 2 is ungrammatical. Number one is incomprehensible. I think "subject portrayed object as X" requires an adjective or noun for X and not a participle. And how sure are you that you know what "portray" means? Because I don't know what you mean here.

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 GPY's reply was promoted to an answer.
GPY Are you talking about someone drawing/painting a picture

Yes, exactly.

After posting this question, I happened to notice the problem that the sentence does sound ambiguous without context due to the various meanings of "portray".

As for #2, I have one more question : why is it wrong to use "like" with a gerund phrase "moving...in his hand" even though "as" with the gerund phrase is correct like in #1 and "like" with a noun phrase is correct like in the example #3 below?

3. They portrayed him like a devil.

Here, "like a devil" describes "him" as well as functions as an adverb phrase modifying the verb "portrayed".

However, why is only #1 correct?

Is there any clear reason why #2 is wrong even though #3 is correct?

Could the part "like moving...in his hand" describes "him" as well as functions as an adverb phrase modifying "portrayed", like in #3?

Is it because the moving part looks like describing she", not "him"?

fire1Yes, exactly.

"portrayed ... as" is not usually used for literal descriptions such as "moving with a bible in his hand". In this case we would tend to drop "as". However, "She portrayed him moving with a bible in his hand" still feels odd, or at least unusual, because of the vagueness of "moving". "She portrayed him sitting with a bible in his hand" would be OK.

Better examples of "portrayed him as verb-ing" would need a verb that can be implied or suggested indirectly rather than displayed literally. For example, in writing, she may have "portrayed him as liking his father".

fire1As for #2, I have one more question : why is it wrong to use "like" with a gerund phrase "moving...in his hand" even though "as" with the gerund phrase is correct like in #1 and "like" with a noun phrase is correct like in the example #3 below?
3. They portrayed him like a devil.
Here, "like a devil" describes "him" as well as functions as an adverb phrase modifying the verb "portrayed". However, why is only #1 correct?

I would say that "they portrayed him like a devil" is, very strictly speaking, of doubtful technical correctness. Opinions may vary. In any case, it would be understood that "like a devil" describes how he appears in the portrayal. The answer to your question is therefore that someone can be "like a devil" but not "like moving".

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GPYGPY

Thank you very much for your help!

Just as a last question, does this sentence "(A) They portrayed him like being a devil".

(A) seems to work and make sense, unlike #2.

I think #2 does not work due to a semantical reason.

fire1Just as a last question, does this sentence "(A) They portrayed him like being a devil".(A) seems to work and make sense, unlike #2.

No, that does not work. "portrayed him like verb-ing" is never correct, whatever the verb. (Unusually, it may be possible if the "-ing" participle behaves as a noun, but not when it is a verb.)

GPYGPY

D. She portrayed him as if he was moving with a bible in his hand.

F. They portrayed him as if he was a devil.


Then are sentences D and F wrong as well?

D and F do not make any sense?

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fire1D. She portrayed him as if he was moving with a bible in his hand.
F. They portrayed him as if he was a devil.

These are correct constructions, but the meaning of (D) is odd or unusual.

(In formal English, some people would prefer "were" to "was", but "was" would be widely used.)

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