It is harder than it looks


Imagine that I was in a game show, and I had to jump over a barrier in order to win the game. But, unfortunately, I have failed. Immediately after that, the host asked me how it was, and I said:
It was harder than it looked./It was harder than it looks? It is harder than it looks? or?

Question 1: Which in bold is correct? Should I use present tense? or past tense?
Question 2: Is the tenses in my question correct? I have used past tenses in an imaginary situation.


Interesting question, Ricky.
They’re all okay!!
It was harder than it looked - Your impression of what it was like at the moment you did it.
It was harder than it looks - when you tried it your impression was that it was harder than it looked then and still looks now.
It is harder than it looks - as you have tried it you know that this is a fact which is still the case now.

Yes, that is an interesting question. I would suggest an additional interpretation for the first version:

“It was harder than it looked” could also be interpreted to mean that although you made it look easy when you did it, it was actually hard. In other words, “It was harder (for me to do) than it looked (to you when I did it).”

[size=75]“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt[/size]

Thanks for the explanations. Crystal clear!

But, should I ask question like this in past tense? Or should I say in past tense, in this case: ‘Imagine that I ‘am’ in a game show, and I ‘have’ to jump over a barrier in order…’

Please help, thanks.

I’m not sure I understand your question here.
You cannot comment on how hard it actually was unless you have done it, which places the question in the past tense.
If you haven’t yet tried then the host cannot ask you how it was.

This is possible:
‘What do you think of it?’ / ‘How do you think you’ll get on?’ / ‘how does it seem?’
‘I think it’s going to be harder than it looks.’

Opss … sorry some typos.
Some question about ‘Imaginary questions’.

Do questions like these follow the rules of conditionals type 2?

Example: In the present, I want to ask my friend to imagine that he/she is walking on the moon… (Obviously, in reality she’s not on the moon).
Should I say:
Imagine that you are walking on the moon…
Imagine that you were walking on the moon…


You can use either.

ok. Thanks.