Act: act uninterested vs act like you're not interested

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello,


Which option is appropriate (natural) in my examples below?


a. Some people like to act uninterested when they're doing business. It's a way of getting an advantage.
b. What? You don't want to come with us? Stop acting uninterested. I know you enjoy going out on Saturdays. Come on! Let's go.

Vs

c. Some people like to act like they're not interested when they're doing business. It's a way of getting an advantage.
d. What? You don't want to come with us? Stop acting like you're not interested. I know you enjoy going out on Saturdays. Come on! Let's go.

Meaning intended: pretend not to be interested, like or want something.

Thank you in advance!
 
  • harbottle

    Senior Member
    Australia; English
    Nice question. Related word: "disinterested", which is subtly different to b) and d)

    I do not think there is a difference between "uninterested" and "not interested", save for economy of language. In a written text I would use "uninterested" because you can express it in fewer terms but in spoken dialogue I would use "not interested" because it sounds more natural. That is based on personal taste however and I definitely do not think that there is any difference in meaning at all.
     

    harbottle

    Senior Member
    Australia; English
    My strong preference is for ​d)

    I don't see anything wrong with it at all. b) is fine too but sounds a little awkward to my ear.
     

    Xavier da Silva

    Senior Member
    Would you recommend "stop acting disinterested" and "like to act disinterested"?


    a. Some people like to act disinterested when they're doing business. It's a way of getting an advantage.
    b. What? You don't want to come with us? Stop acting disinterested. I know you enjoy going out on Saturdays. Come on! Let's go.
     

    harbottle

    Senior Member
    Australia; English
    No in your case I definitely think that this is the best sentence:

    "What? You don't want to come with us? Stop acting like you're not interested. I know you enjoy going out on Saturdays. Come on! Let's go."
     
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