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As if and as though

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As if/as though in comparison clauses
Comparison clauses are introduced by the conjunctions ‘as if’/‘as though’, which are used to say
what seems to be happening, how somebody or something feels, looks, sounds or behaves.
1) Present Tenses are used after ‘as if’/‘as though’ if the action they express is true in the present
or future.
You sound as if/as though you are ill. – It’s quite possible. (real situation, the statement is true)
The student looks as if he knows the answer. I’ll give him a good grade. (he knows the answer,
real situation)
He looks as if he is having a good time. He is laughing happily. (real situation)
2) The Past subjunctive after ‘as if’/‘as though’ indicates an unreal situation in the present.
Ann doesn’t know anything, but she speaks/acts/sounds as if/as though she knew all about it.
He behaves as if he were a boss, but he is not, he is our driver.
John treats me as if/as though I were (was) his wife (but I am not).
3) The Past Perfect subjunctive after ‘as if’/‘as though’ is used to refer to an unreal past
situation.
She looks fresh and rested as if she had just returned from the Canary Islands, but I know that
she didn’t go anywhere.
Kate speaks of the book as if she had read it, but I know that she has never ever opened the
cover.
1. Use an appropriate form of the verbs in brackets.
1) It feels as though it ______________ (be) ages since they last spoke and yet it was only two
days ago.
2) It looks as though a storm ______________ (be) going to break out. Let’s hurry home.
3) Look at Sue eating her meal. She looks as if she ______________ (be) hungry, but she had
dinner an hour ago.
4) Does Ann ever have a holiday? It seems as if she ______________ (work) seven days a
week!
5) Quick! Turn off the gas before it is too late. It smells as if the meat ______________
(burn).
6) The next time Robert saw Mary she acted as though she ______________ (never/see) him
before.
7) This girl acts as if she ______________ (be) the only person in the world who has problems.
8) My daughter hates it when I speak to her as if she _____________ (be) a child.
9) John acts as if he _____________ (paint) this picture. I wish he _____________ (stop)
boasting.
10) The room looks as if a hurricane _____________ (sweep) through it.
11) Kate was treated as if she _____________ (be) the Queen.
12) John knows that he has disappointed me, but he behaves as if nothing _____________
(happen).
13) It seems as if they _____________ (know) each other for ages, but they have just met.
14) Ann is so slim. She looks as though she _____________ (lose) weight since I last saw her.
15) Her eyes are red. She looks as if she _____________ (cry).
2. Complete the sentences with non-fact ideas.
1) John greeted me as if…
2) She stepped back as though…
3) The room looked as if…
4) Ann was listening to the story as if…
5) She asked funny questions as though…
6) He acts as if…
7) Why are you looking at me as if…?
8) She felt as though…
9) He stared at her as though…
10) You sound as if…
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