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How I understand the as if/as though structure

We use the past subjunctive form of a verb (which means that except be as were, other verbs' forms are just the same as their past tense forms) after as if to indicate a hypothetical scenario in the present.

And We use had + past perfect to indicate a hypothetical scenario in the past.

I wonder if we can use the past subjunctive form of a verb (not the form had + past perfect) after as if to mean that the action is in the past and being hypothetical at the same time.

I also wonder if we can use the past subjunctive form of a verb (not the form had + past perfect) after as if to mean that the action is in the past and being possible (not entirely hypothetical) at the same time.


Questions:

(1) For example, are the sentences (a) and (b) below correct?

(2) Do the as if structures in these sentences tell hypothetical scenarios in the past or scenarios that might be possible in the past?

(a) She ordered me to jump up and down as if I played basketball for a living.

(b) They gave me an attitude as if I said something wrong and made them mad.

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You should use the past subjunctive (not past perfect) to refer to a hypothetical (unreal) action in the past (so (a) is correct). And you should use the past tense to refer to a non-hypothetical (possible) action in the past, unless the action had happened before the main action like your (b) example, where you should use past perfect instead:

(b) They gave me an attitude as if I had said something wrong and made them mad.

The same word (verb in past tense) possibly conveying different meanings (either unreal action in the present, or possible action in the past, or unreal action in the past) is something ambiguous due to the imperfect nature of English, that you need to resolve by the context.

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