7

Consider the following four sentences:

1.誰もいないみたいでした。ノックしましたが、返事がありませんでした。

2.誰もいなかったみたいでした。ノックしましたが、返事がありませんでした。

3.誰もいなかったみたいです。ノックしましたが、返事がありませんでした。

4.誰もいないみたいです。ノックしましたが、返事がありませんでした。

There are two verbs 「いない」 and 「です」 to conjugate, my question is which verb should be conjugated, or maybe both should be conjugated?

Does it have anything to do with whether the two verbs are simultaneous or not?

8

The Japanese language is based on relative tense. In your case, you have to choose みたいです ("seems") and みたいでした ("seemed") simply based on the time of your observation, but いない and いなかった are relative to the time of your observation.

  1. 誰もいないみたいでした。
    = It looked like there was no one.
    (You investigated the room a while ago and thought no one was there at that time.)
  2. 誰もいなかったみたいでした。
    = It looked like there had been no one.
    (You investigated the room a while ago and thought no one was in the room yesterday.)
  3. 誰もいなかったみたいです。
    = Looks like there was no one.
    (You are investigating the room now and thinking there was no one yesterday.)
  4. 誰もいないみたいです。
    = Looks like there is no one.
    (You are investigating the room now and thinking there is no one now.)
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