play /pretend to be an expert

alphabet song

Member
Korean
Hello!
Let me ask you some questions.

If I am not an expert but want to make others think so, which expression is proper, play to be an expert or pretend to be an expert?

Thank you in advance!
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    We need to see the complete sentence, but I can't imagine a sentence in which "play to be an expert" would be correct.
     

    alphabet song

    Member
    Korean
    We need to see the complete sentence, but I can't imagine a sentence in which "play to be an expert" would be correct.
    Thank you so much!
    I'm not a native speaker. While I'm just studying about the verb 'play', I found the following sentence, 'I decided it was safer to play dead.'
    So I wondered if 'play to be an expert' is proper expression, and wanted to compare it with ' pretend to be an expert' . So you don't use this expression, right?
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    As I said above, I can't imagine a sentence in which "play to be an expert" would be correct.

    In this forum, we don't discuss phrases out of context. If you can come up with sentence that uses the phrase "play to ben an expert" (or perhaps "play the expert"), we will be able to be more helpful.

    "Play dead" is a set phrase, which means it's not easily used as a basis for similar phrases.
     

    alphabet song

    Member
    Korean
    As I said above, I can't imagine a sentence in which "play to be an expert" would be correct.

    In this forum, we don't discuss phrases out of context. If you can come up with sentence that uses the phrase "play to ben an expert" (or perhaps "play the expert"), we will be able to be more helpful.

    "Play dead" is a set phrase, which means it's not easily used as a basis for similar phrases.
    Ok! " I hate the man who plays to be an expert."
    Is This sentence correct?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Thank you so much!
    I'm not a native speaker. While I'm just studying about the verb 'play', I found the following sentence, 'I decided it was safer to play dead.'
    So I wondered if 'play to be an expert' is proper expression, and wanted to compare it with ' pretend to be an expert' . So you don't use this expression, right?
    "Play dead" is a set phrase, which means exactly the same as "pretend to be dead".

    You might "play at being a doctor", for example, but that isn't quite the same as "pretending to be a doctor". Children play at being doctors and nurses. If you pretend to be a doctor, you might end up going to prison.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    You might "play at being a doctor", for example, but that isn't quite the same as "pretending to be a doctor". Children play at being doctors and nurses.
    I’ve never heard this in US English. I wonder if it’s British.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I’ve never heard this in US English. I wonder if it’s British.
    "Playing doctor" was a phrase used when I was growing up. It meant children looking at the difference between their genitals and others', but usually it meant a boy comparing his genitals with a girl's. This was a fairly innocent bit of curiosity and not sexual in nature. I would not use this term for an adult posing as a doctor.

    Playing doctor - Wikipedia

    "Playing doctor" is a phrase used colloquially in the Western world to refer to children examining each other's genitals.[1] It originates from children using the pretend roles of doctor and patient as a pretext for such an examination. However, whether or not such role-playing is involved, the phrase is used to refer to any similar examination.[
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    That's the name of the kids' game in BE too, but one can also "play at being someone else" or "pretend to be someone else" (role-playing). With children, where the "pretending" is not intended to deceive anyone, the meaning is the same.

    Let's pretend to be pirates.
    Let's play at being grown-ups.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    That's the name of the kids' game in BE too, but one can also "play at being someone else" or "pretend to be someone else" (role-playing). With children, where the "pretending" is not intended to deceive anyone, the meaning is the same.

    Let's pretend to be pirates.
    Let's play at being grown-ups.
    I still think both "pretend" and "play" are too childish for use for someone meaning to deceive. That would be fraud and needs an "adult term".
     
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