what is the difference in meaning?
Is there any difference in meaning between the two sentences A and B?
A: He looks as if he has seen a ghost.
B: He looks as if he had seen a ghost.
The sentences are different, though to a native speaker sentence B just sounds like a mistake.
We would never say sentence B without adding more information as to what happened after ha has seen the ghost. For example: "He looks as if he had seen a ghost, then was chased by it." We could also use sentence B if we are talking about a situation completely in the past, for example: "He looked as if he had seen a ghost."
We would always say sentence A if the sentence is to stand alone.
Remember that present perfect refers to something in the past that is relevant to the present -- so, in practice, the present perfect is a past tense.
|link comment||edited May 03 '11 at 12:25 Kimberly Expert|
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