as if as though comparison

as if as though comparison

Here are two very similar points at different levels under Clauses and comparatives in the English Grammar Profile.  They are unusual because the B1, the lower level of English ability, contains more complexity and is based more on natural collocation.  Indeed, to adhere to B2 definitions, one must avoid what vocabulary collocates most naturally.

B2 Point 90 is defined as:

‘as if’ or ‘as though’ + finite clause to introduce a second clause as a comparison.

B1 Point 70 is defined as:

verbs of the senses + ‘as if’ or ‘as though’ + finite clause.

AS THOUGH

we can get collocates 4 spaces to left and right of ‘as though’ on iWeb:

1 WERE (VBDR ) 26542 *(this is noticeably found as a subjunctive form in many examples)


2 SEEMS (VVZ ) 13883 (this is already B2 for range of linking verbs)

3 FEEL (VV0 ) 13566
4 LOOKS (VVZ ) 10157
5 FEEL (VVI ) 9908
6 FELT (VVD ) 5286
7 FEELS (VVZ ) 4847
8 APPEARS (VVZ ) 4516
9 SEEM (VVI ) 3620
10 LOOKED (VVD ) 3612

It becomes quite obvious that ‘as though’ naturally comes with the sense verbs.

Yet we want to find more than pronouns so a search for nouns one to the right gives us:

gives us ‘nature, death and heaven’ that are not basic vocabulary.

 

AS IF

Sadly, iWeb does not allow a collocate search for ‘as if’ because there are just too many.

Unsurprising: as if _n *
1 AS IF PEOPLE ARE 210
2 AS IF THINGS ARE 130
3 AS IF THINGS WERE 113
4 AS IF LIFE IS 95
5 AS IF PEOPLE WERE 91
6 AS IF TIME HAS 88

as if * *
1 AS IF THEY WERE 31228
2 AS IF IT WERE 31105
3 AS IF IT WAS 15239
4 AS IF YOU WERE 14496
5 AS IF THEY ARE 12255

These results are bit more specific:
as if * _vv*


1 AS IF TO SAY 4743 ( this structure is much higher than B2)

2 AS IF NOTHING HAPPENED 924 + extra collocates:

1 AWAY (RL ) 22


2 CONTINUE (VVI ) 17
3 CONTINUES (VVZ ) 16
4 ACT (VVI ) 16
5 ACT (VV0_NN1 ) 14
6 CONTINUE (VV0 ) 14
7 SUSPICIOUS (JJ ) 13
8 FORGOTTEN (VVN ) 13
9 ACTED (VVD ) 12
10 LIVES (NN2 ) 11

 

3 AS IF TO PROVE 568

4 AS IF YOU NEEDED 526


5 AS IF YOU NEED 485

6 AS IF TO MAKE 484

7 AS IF WE NEEDED 455
8 AS IF HE KNEW 430
9 AS IF IT CAME 424
10 AS IF HE WANTED 356
11 AS IF THEY KNOW 337
12 AS IF THEY KNEW 329
13 AS IF YOU KNOW 278
14 AS IF YOU WANT 260
15 AS IF I NEEDED 260
16 AS IF IT HAPPENED 249
17 AS IF THEY CAME 247

18 AS IF TO SUGGEST 238
19 AS IF TO SHOW 237

20 AS IF THEY WANT 214

1 COMMENT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Legal Notice: Copyright 2019. The online software, text report and research at EnglishGrammar.Pro has made use of the English Grammar Profile. This resource is based on extensive research using the Cambridge Learner Corpus and is part of the English Profile programme, which aims to provide evidence about language use that helps to produce better language teaching materials.