Can the past tense used after as if indicate an individual (non-habitual), or in other words, isolated action that is unreal, or might be true?
Let me explain the question:
I have seen the past tense used after as if often conveys a habitual action or a condition or a state that is unreal or that might be true.
For example, knowing something is a state,
(1) She laughed at the question as if she knew how to solve it.
And when describing an individual (non-habitual) action in the past which is hypothetical or might be true, I feel like using past perfect is more natural.
For example, solving something is an action happening only at a particular timing, so I use past perfect in the below sentence (could simple past be used in this case?).
(2) She laughed at the question as if she had solved it.
And I feel weird about the sentence below and I don't know why:
(3) She laughed at the question as if she solved it.