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  • Betrifft

    as if I...

    Kommentar
    "Sometimes I feel as if I" have oder had "two personalities"?
    Verfasserfrog08 Nov. 05, 15:11
    Kommentar
    Sometimes I feel as if I have = I now feel that I still have
    Sometimes I feel as if I had = I now feel that I used to have
    Sometimes I felt as if I had = I used to feel that I had
    #1Verfassergirly-girl08 Nov. 05, 15:14
    Kommentar
    Das heißt, wenn ich mich so fühle als ob ich in der Vergangenheit und jetzt auch noch zwei Persönlichkeiten habe, dann kann ich have benutzen?
    #2Verfasserfrog08 Nov. 05, 15:26
    Kommentar
    @ frog
    genau!
    #3Verfasserjoe08 Nov. 05, 15:31
    Kommentar
    Ich meine dass hier as if i HAD auf jeden Fall stehen muss. Ich gehe mal davon aus, dass es sich um eine irreale Annahme handelt.
    #4Verfasserpuffin08 Nov. 05, 15:38
    Kommentar
    Sometimes I feel as if I HAD two personalities....

    BUT
    Sometimes I feel like I HAVE two personalities...

    (I hope you are not one of those contributors with multiple nicks, too!)
    #5VerfasserTM08 Nov. 05, 15:44
    Kommentar
    *ooooh* Now I am confused. TM and puffin make good points and I am all about if+conjunctive, but I just don't get a good feeling from the sentence "I feel as if I had two personalities."

    Whereas I agree in the sentence:
    If I had two personalities, I could use multiple nicks without feeling guilty.

    I am not sure that "as if" takes the conjunctive ....

    I assume there are people here that study grammar, and don't just talk from experience, who are more trustworthy.
    #6Verfassergirly-girl08 Nov. 05, 16:11
    Kommentar
    "I sometimes feel as if I have two personalities"

    No need for a sub-, con- or any other kind of junctive. That would be a translation of the German approach.
    #7VerfasserGhol ‹GB›08 Nov. 05, 16:52
    Kommentar
    @ girly-girl and
    @Ghol (GB)

    I am not taking the "translating from German approach". I think your confusion stems from mixing what if feels like to think you have two personalities with the actual structure of the sentence. "I feel as if I had two personalities" is certainly not rapper jargon, but it is correct English.
    Compare with these sentences:

    I feel as if I had wasted all my time.
    I feel as if my sister had ruined my childhood.

    I feel like I have wasted my time.
    I feel like my sister has ruined my childhood.

    The distinction is one between a conjecture and trying to state a fact.
    #8VerfasserTM08 Nov. 05, 17:03
    Kommentar
    @TM: disagree, so far. I can't grasp what you are getting at.
    None of your examples refer to something that is in the present ("have" as in "possess", they are all "have" as an auxiliary verb), so they confuse the issue slightly.
    Neither do your examples sound like very logical English to me. I don't see what comparing them is supposed to show.
     
    "I feel [now] like I have 2 personalities [now]" -- logical
    "I feel [now] like I had 2 personalities [when I was a child]" -- weird
    #9VerfasserGhol ‹GB›08 Nov. 05, 18:22
    Kommentar
    It looks to me like... as if... TM is saying there's a difference between "to feel like" and "to feel as if" -- have I understood correctly, TM?

    I would not have thought there was a difference (in this context). But I am willing to be corrected, if anyone can explain it.
    #10VerfasserMaria E. (ae)08 Nov. 05, 19:18
    Kommentar
    http://www.bartleby.com/64/C001/061.html

    "The past subjunctive is sometimes called the were subjunctive, since were is the only subjunctive form that is distinct from the indicative past tense. It appears chiefly in if clauses and in a few other constructions expressing hypothetical conditions:
    If he were sorry, he’d have apologized by now.
    I wish she weren’t going away.
    She’s already acting as if she were going to be promoted.
    Suppose she were to resign, what would you do then?
    "
    #11VerfasserThomasJ08 Nov. 05, 19:34
    Kommentar
    @Maria
    Yes, I was trying to point out the difference between "as if" and "like" and saying that "as if" requires the subjunctive (hypothetical status), whereas "like" does not.

    Oh, well, maybe we should just wait until someone can quote the place in the MLA Style Manual.
    Strunk and White (The Elements of Style) say: Like. Not to be used for the conjuntion as. Like governs nouns and pronouns; before phreases and clauses the quivalent word is as....
    But that is probably all beside the point and I have to get back to work!
    #12VerfasserTM08 Nov. 05, 19:58
    Kommentar
    @TM: Ich stimme Dir zu.
    Ich bin weder Grammatikfreak noch engl. Muttersprachler, aber "as if ... have" hört sich für mich wirklich schlimm an. Ich hatte diese Diskussion schon mit am. Freunden, die meine englischen Texte durchgesehen haben. Es scheint dies ein Fall, in dem das deutsche Sprachgefühl wirklich hilft, eine englische Formulierung zu beurteilen, denn "als ob ich zwei Persönlichkeiten habe" hört sich für mich ebenso absurd an.
    #13VerfasserAndreasS08 Nov. 05, 20:43
    Kommentar
    http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/likeasif.html

    Normally, "as if" is preffered to "like" in this kind of sentence. I was taught that "like" is in fact incorrect in this usage anyway, and that you should always say "as if". If "like" is acceptable, then only in informal spoken language.

    So it should be "I feel as if..." in any case.

    My view is that it should be:

    "I feel as if I had two different personalities" - This is what you would say unless you suffered from a psychosis and really believed that you had two personalities. i.e. subjunctive, as it is an unreal supposition; you know it isn't true.

    "I feel as if I have two personalities" - This is what you say when you are talking to your psychologist. (You believe that you have two personalities.) In this case it is a normal present tense.

    Perhaps TM's examples didn't work because they were not appropriate to the present tense anyway.
    Compare:
    I feel as if there were a black cloud floating above my head. (formal with subjunctive)
    I feel as if there is a black cloud floating above my head (I really believe it, thus normal present) (formal)
    I feel like there's this black cloud just floatin' above my head, man. (informal, could be conjecture or belief.)
    #14VerfasserMary (nz/a)08 Nov. 05, 21:25
    Kommentar
    @AndreasS: no, not really. Nothing "absurd" or "schlimm" about it at all! In normal English we tend to avoid the subjunctives where possible. But it all depends on the different meanings, as Mary says.

    @TM: How about finding some clear examples?

    "I sometimes feel as though I were a 3-year-old child" -- sounds good

    "I am so happy I feel like I am a 15-year-old in love for the first time" -- I don't think "were" would be used here.

    "I often feel as if I had got out of bed the wrong side [but I am not superstitious really]" -- sounds OK to me

    "I often feel as if I have got out of bed the wrong side [and so I know what the cause of my problems is]" -- also OK
    #15VerfasserGhol ‹GB›08 Nov. 05, 22:17
    Kommentar
    @Ghol: That you for pointing out that in normal English you tend to avoid the subjunctive. That seems to be a real difference between English and German. We have become rather sloppy with the Konjunktiv I (indirect speech), even in written language, but still adhere to the Konjunktiv II at least in writing. In German "..., als ob ich zwei Persönlichkeiten habe" looks plain wrong.
    #16VerfasserAndreasS08 Nov. 05, 22:35
    Kommentar
    @AndreasS

    Ghol's Bemerkung bezieht sich wohl nur auf BE, in Amerika erfreut sich der Subjunctive (present und past) größerer Beliebtheit und wird auch in normaler Alltagssprache verwendet.

    like vs. as if:
    http://www.bartleby.com/64/C001/033.html
    #17VerfasserThomasJ08 Nov. 05, 22:54
    Kommentar
    To clarify the problem with TM's examples, I will elaborate:

    "I feel as if I had wasted all my time. "
    In this case you would normally say:
    "I feel as if I have wasted all my time." - I can't imagine a situation where this would require the subjunctive. You believe that you have wasted your time. It's a real situation.
    "I felt as if I had wasted all my time." - This would be the same sentence transposed into the past. I believed that I had wasted all my time.

    "I feel as if my sister had ruined my childhood."
    This is also illogical.
    You could say:
    1."I feel as if my sister has ruined my childhood." - If your childhood is not yet over or has only just come to an end (present perfect). It is a belief and is not in the subjunctive.
    2."I feel as if my sister ruined my childhood." - You still feel/believe this, but your childhood is in the past. (If you consider this to be unreal and thus subjunctive it would be "Konjunktiv I")
    3."I felt as if my sister had ruined my childhood." - Transposition of the present perfect phrase (1.) into the past. At the time (in my childhood or at the end of my childhood) I felt/believed...Here it is difficult to tell if it is real or unreal (belief or conjecture at the time), as the verb in the subjunctive looks the same in English anyway (but here it would be "Konjunktiv II"). You would have to gather this information from the remaining context (though you only really need it if you are translating it into German, for instance).

    But it would be clearer if you said
    "I felt as if my sister was ruining my childhood" (no subjunctive, as strongly considered to be a fact)
    "I felt as if my sister were ruining my childhood" (subjunctive, as considered to be an impression that I had at the time),
    whereby I think that most writers of English would prefer the second sentence, using "were".

    It is difficult to explain, but TM's examples don't work mainly because he/she has mixed up present simple and past perfect (bzw. Konjunktiv II) in the same sentence. And also, unlike in German (and some other languages) the idea of believing or similar does not in itself require the use of a subjunctive.
    Compare:
    He thinks he is a rabbit.
    He wishes he were a rabbit.
    #18VerfasserMary (nz/a)08 Nov. 05, 23:30
    Kommentar
    @Mary (nz/a):
    Bist Du sicher, dass "as if" überhaupt zu "to feel" im Sinne von "meinen" passt?
    "I feel as if ..."?

    Im Deutschen jedenfalls geht "Ich meine, als ob ..." nicht.
    Müsste es nicht heißen: "I feel that my sister has ruined my childhood"?

    Frogs Beispiel geht anders. Da ist mit "to feel" gemeint "sich fühlen", und wenn es sich um eine Mutmaßung handelt, ist "as is" und der Subjunktiv zwingend, vielleicht nicht in BE, wie wir von Ghol wissen.
    "Sometime I feel like I had two personalities, but I'm really not sure about that."

    Wenn es sich um eine (wenn auch nur subjektive) Tatsache handelt, bedeutet "to feel" eine Wahrnehmung und das "as if" wird durch "that" (das man auch weglassen kann) ersetzt.
    "Sometime I feel (that) I have two personalities."

    Noch etwas:
    Der Gebrauch von Konjunktiv I und II im Deutschen hat nichts mit der Zeitform zu tun, sondern nur mit der Bedeutung.

    Indirekte Rede:
    "Er sagt, er habe den Zug verpasst."
    "Er sagte, er habe den Zug verpasst."

    Unsichere Hypothese:
    "Er sagt, er hätte den Zug verpasst, wenn er nur eine Minute später gekommen wäre."
    "Er sagte, er hätte den Zug verpasst, wenn er nur eine Minute später gekommen wäre."

    Das sind alles korrekte Sätze. Vielleicht geht es ja hier nicht nur um einen Unterschied zwischen BE und AE, sondern auch noch um einen zwischen DD und ÖD.
    #19VerfasserAndreasS 09 Nov. 05, 01:29
    Kommentar
    I agree with puffin, AndreasS, TM, Mary, and Prof. Brians (Mary's link) that in standard written English, 'as if' (or 'as though') takes the subjunctive and 'like' should not be used as a conjunction.

    As we've established in several previous discussions (check the archive, under 'SUBjunctive' and 'KONjunktiv' BTW), I don't agree with Ghol that
    >>In normal English we tend to avoid the subjunctives where possible.

    As ThomasJ mentioned, modern BE does apparently use the subjunctive less than modern AE, particularly in conversation. But on both sides of the pond, careful writers still use it, and learners of English definitely need to learn it.

    So the standard, correct written sentence is

    • I feel as if I had two personalities. (formal, subjunctive, contrary to fact, emphasizing that I know I don't really have two personalities)


    The normal colloquial spoken sentence is

    • I feel like I have two personalities. (informal, indicative, emphasizing that I really do feel this way, that the feeling is real and present to me)


    For me, the in-between version sounds awkward because it mixes formal and informal diction:

    • I feel as if I have two personalities. (formal 'as if,' colloquial 'have')


    However, I basically agree with Mary and TM that in both cases, the indicative ('have') simply reflects a difference in emphasis: The present feeling is experienced more as a reality, a given, than an irreality, a hypothesis.


    Mary's explanations are all helpful, and I further agree with her on this point:

    >>"I feel as if I have wasted all my time." - I can't imagine a situation where this would require the subjunctive. You believe
    >>that you have wasted your time. It's a real situation.


    However, like AndreasS, I would go further and say that it might be more normal without 'as if':

    • I feel (that) I have wasted all my time.


    @AndreasS:
    But the subjunctive simply isn't used after 'like,' so this sentence isn't English:
    >>*"Sometimes I feel like I had two personalities, but I'm really not sure about that."

    Perhaps one way of explaining it is that 'as if' can feel either factual or hypothetical, but 'like' always feels immediate, real, without the distance created by the formal conjunction and the subjunctive. Would it help to think of 'I feel like' [coll.] as simply meaning 'I feel (that)'?
    #20Verfasserhm -- us09 Nov. 05, 05:47
    Kommentar
    I expected that hm -- us would have something to say on this subject and I'm glad that we agree.

    I also agree with hm -us and AndreasS that it would be more natural, if the phrase is intended to be indicative, to formulate it with "that" rather than "as if" (in fact, I found myself automatically writing "that" when noting down my examples, then changed it to "as if" for the purpose of the exercise.)

    So "I feel that my sister ruined my childhood" would be most natural if that is what you really believe (indicative);
    and "I feel as if my sister ruined my childhood" if you don't quite believe what you are saying (subjunctive).

    But as you can see here, the verb has the same form in the past indicative and the past subjunctive - so a lot of people do not even realise that they are using the subjunctive at all.
    It is often only noticeable with was/were - as pointed out in ThomasJ's link.

    I think that Ghol's claim that the subjunctive is avoided in BE does not mean that people say "we don't care and we're just going to keep on saying "I wish I was"," but rather that _constructions requiring the subjunctive_ are avoided in favour of other expressions giving the same meaning which are considered to be stylistically less awkward or staid.
    E.g. instead of "He insisted that the chairman call a meeting at once" you could rephrase it to "The chairman called a meeting immediately at his insistence".

    This avoidance could also mean that excessively formal uses of the subjunctive such as
    "Whether he be opposed to the plan or not, we must seek his opinion"
    are usually preferentially expressed in the indicative: "Whether he is opposed..."
    unless you were waxing extremely rhetorical.
    (Check out that link ThomasJ provided, it is very helpful).

    As for AndreasS' point about Konjunktiv I and II - perhaps I added confusion by putting these in. Subjunctive in English, and German Konjunktiv have different functions. I merely wanted to point out that the wrong tense of the subjunctive had been used in the original examples.
    #21VerfasserMary (nz/a)10 Nov. 05, 20:35
    Kommentar
    @Ghol
    "'I am so happy I feel like I am a 15-year-old in love for the first time" -- I don't think "were" would be used here."

    I missed out much of this discussion and coming back find the number of postings almost too overwhelming to address, but this one line strikes me as particularly odd.
    Call me old-fashioned, or over-scholarly for your man on the street, but indeed, would say (in American English):

    "I am so happy, I feel as if I were a 15-year-old in love for the first time".
    (I bet Cary Grant would agree with me.)
    #22VerfasserTM10 Nov. 05, 22:08
    Kommentar
    Sorry, an "I" dropped out: I would say... I'm so happy, I feel as if I were...
    #23VerfasserTM10 Nov. 05, 22:12
     
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