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The sentence is 例えば外食時、定食屋さんでとても美味しいご飯をたべたとする。

I've looked at some other answered questions which explain how とする, when appended to a verb expresses quitting an old action and starting a new one. However I can't understand it in this case, because it seems odd that it would be used in the past tense.

Does it take on a different meaning if the verb is in the past tense?

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    i'm not entirely sure, but to me it sounds like they're saying "suppose you ate a delicious meal..." where とする feels likes they're suggestion a possible scenario.
    – A.Ellett
    May 3, 2017 at 2:38

1 Answer 1

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clause + とする can mean "assume ~", "suppose ~", "regard ~", "let ~", etc. So the sentence means "Suppose you eat ..."

Examples and explanations are found on the following sites:

The ta-form is used in combination of many hypothetical or conditional expressions. I think this ta-form is for denoting the perfect aspect, not the past tense. 定食屋さんでご飯をたべるとする refers to what you would think/plan/do before eating a meal (e.g., choosing a good restaurant). 定食屋さんでご飯をたべたとする refers to what you would think/do at a mealtime or after the meal (e.g., paying with a credit card).

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