as if and as though

[as if/though + subject + present/past verb
as if/though + subject + past verb with present meaning]

  • As if and as though mean the same.
    We use them to say what a situation seems like.
      It looks as if/though it’s going to rain.
      I felt as if/though I was dying.
  • We can use a past tense with a present meaning after as if/though. This means that the idea is ‘unreal’.
    Compare:
      He looks as if he’s rich. (Perhaps he is rich.)
      She talks as if she was rich. (But she isn’t.)

    We can use were instead of was when we express ‘unreal’ ideas after as if/though. This is common in a formal style.

      She talks as if she were rich.
  • Like is often used instead of as if/though, especially in American English. This is very informal.
      It looks like it’s going to rain.