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The following are sentences from Leonardo Dicaprio's speech 'Climate change is not hysteria - it's a fact'.

As an actor I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems.

I believe humankind has looked at climate change in that same way: as if it were a fiction, happening to someone else’s planet, as if pretending that climate change wasn’t real would somehow make it go away.

  1. What is the pattern of this highlighted sentence?

  2. What are these 'as if clauses' fubctioning as - adjectival or adverbial clauses?

  3. What is the subject of the verb phrase "would somehow make it go away"?

Any help is highly appreciated. Thank you.

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    Never believe a single word an actor says! – BillJ Oct 31 '20 at 15:21
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    "I believe humankind has looked at climate change [in that same way]: [as if it were a fiction, happening to someone else’s planet], [as if pretending that climate change wasn’t real would somehow make it go away]." All the bracketed strings describe 'how humans have looked at climate change'. The two final strings, after the colon, are parentheticals enlarging on what 'that way' entails, and with the second parenthetical also relating semantically to the first. // The subject of 'would somehow make it go away' is the participial clause 'pretending that climate change wasn't real'. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 31 '20 at 15:21
  • @EdwinAshworth I think 'on that same way' refers back to the previous sentences in which he says he pretends for a living as an actor. When the strings after the colon are enlarging on what 'that way' entails, they are adverbial clauses describing the adverbial phrase (in that same way), right? Or, are they adjectival modifying the noun 'way'? – mahmud k pukayoor Oct 31 '20 at 15:41
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    I'm inclined to say that the as if expressions are manner adjuncts. The subject of "would somehow make it go away" is "pretending that climate change wasn’t real". – BillJ Oct 31 '20 at 16:03
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    The total line of thought here isn't exactly coherent. As an actor, Dicaprio actually makes considerable effort to "get into character" - it's effectively his job to believe the fiction he portrays is real. And (at least for the duration of the movie) to convince the audience that it's real. That's almost the complete opposite of what he's claiming about how "other people" view climate change. – FumbleFingers Oct 31 '20 at 16:05
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I believe humankind has looked at climate change in that same way: as if it were a fiction, happening to someone else’s planet, as if pretending that climate change wasn’t real would somehow make it go away.

I'm inclined to say that the as if expressions are manner adjuncts.

The subject of "would somehow make it go away" is "pretending that climate change wasn’t real".

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    As for question 1, there is no special "pattern" with a name that applies to that sentence. Someone might invent one and then make students learn it -- which is useless information because every teacher or school uses different terms and structures. – John Lawler Oct 31 '20 at 21:17
  • @JohnLawler +1. Yeah right! Thank you. – mahmud k pukayoor Nov 1 '20 at 9:16

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