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San
Lv 4
San asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 2 months ago

Which word is correct?

An hour before, (it / he) had looked as if he had something to say, but at the moment he was still sitting in silence.

Thanks!

3 Answers

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  • A.J.
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    You may get a difference between British English and American English, and a difference between someone who studies English versus only well educated with a past career where global clear communications was critical to a job.

    My answer is an opinion of an older well educated American.

    The difference between "it" and "he" is minor and both acceptable. "It" refers to a wider view and "he" specific to the individual appearance.

    But, the entire sentence is a confusing time shifting reference and ambiguity to resolve in interpreting the sentence.

    "look" has two uses.

    He looks ill. He looks at the painting.

    He appears ill. He sees the painting.

    It seemed as if..

    had looked/had something >> tense vs ownership

    "the moment" >> which moment?

    An hour before when?

    "was still" from what starting point?

    "moment" is a short almost instant time, but sitting is an extended time.

    This starts with a specific time and does not need repeating it.

    The time frames are totally unclear.

    An hour ago,   from present

    An hour earlier, from a past specific time

    he appeared as if he had something to say,

    but he sat in silence.   starting with "an hour ago"

    An hour ago, he appeared as if he had something to say, but he sat in silence.  

    An hour earlier, it seemed as if he had something to say, but he didn't speak up.

    I need more help from the writer about what happened and when. The sentence as a whole is poor communication as written in the question. 

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    • A.J.
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      Time-shifting is moving through time. Time shifting is changing the time frame. The author is time shifting. The sentence time-shifts. I am missing the hyphen. Brisco is correct the way I misused it. English is difficult in use of tense.   

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  • 2 months ago

    They are both correct. It makes little or no difference.

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  • Brisco
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    You could say either.  As AJ wrote, "it" is a wider view – more about reading the situation – whereas "he" is specific.  It's up to you which you wish to communicate. Not a huge difference.

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