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.


asked May 02 '11 at 14:11 Setsuo Ishii New member

2 answers


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

The two senteces are different.

Sentence A reffer to the meaning : He looks like that he saw a ghost.

Sentence B : He looks that he has already seen the ghost and ....

link comment answered May 16 '11 at 20:47 Gretha New member

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