Grammatical pattern: it + VERB + as if + CLAUSE

example: It LOOKS as if our luck has changed.
It SOUNDS as if the boss is planning to retire.
  it VERB as if CLAUSE

The verbs “appear,” “seem,” “look,” and “sound” are often used to describe what is likely to be true based on available evidence.  To accomplish this purpose, these verbs use the word “it” as their grammatical subject and are followed by the conjunction “as if” plus a clause.  (Often, “like” is used as a conjunction instead of “as if” with the words “look,” “sound,” and “seem.”) The word “it” has little or no real meaning in these sentences, in the same way that the word “it” has little or no meaning in the sentence “It is raining.”  But using the word “it” as the grammatical subject of the sentence allows these verbs to be linked with “as if” to produce the meaning of likelihood based on appearance that is desired.


Verbs that follow the pattern  [it   +  VERB   +   as if  + CLAUSE]

look, seem, appear, sound


Additional examples of the pattern  [it   +  VERB   +   as if  + CLAUSE]

It seems as if she wasn’t very happy about the decision.

It appears as if they’re not going to move after all.

It sounds as if you would rather postpone the meeting till another time.




All grammatical patterns