pretends to education

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mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Help me again, please. I feel something wrong with the sentence I underlined so I don't understand its meaning at all.
"English promises to be the common language or ligua franca of India, at any rate for the educated classes, and every one who pretends to education will have to know it."
Thanks very much.
 
  • volky

    Senior Member
    Spanish/English
    who pretends to education will have to know it.

    I think it refers to everyone who wants to get some education will have to know English.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Yes, language.
    You know what I mean. "pretend to have an education" is right.
    Thanks both of you.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Ah, the grammar structure is all right but I don't understand why "pretend" is used in the sentence? What does it imply?
    Thanks.
     

    volky

    Senior Member
    Spanish/English
    Pretend is to make believe.

    I guess that pretend here means that if a person wants others to believe that he has been educated, althought it is not true, that person must know the english language to be able to be credible.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    volky said:
    Pretend is to make believe.

    I guess that pretend here means that if a person wants others to believe that he has been educated, althought it is not true, that person must know the english language to be able to be credible.
    "Pretend" here means "claims." It doesn't necessarily mean that the claim is untrue. In fact, one can very well have been educated - and therefore "pretend to education" - yet not appear credible because he does not speak English. So it's not a matter of needing to speak English in order to be deceptive, but rather to "prove" that one is educated.

    By the way, "pretends to education" sounds awkward to me, even though I understand what it means in this sentence. I would say something like "pretends/claims to have an education."
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Hi elroy and volky.
    Thanks very much for your kind help. Thanks. Thanks...
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    "... everyone who pretends to education ..."
    This is a long-established use of pretend, with (as already indicated) some breadth of meaning, from:
    ... asserts that he is educated ...
    - through -
    ... claims to be educated ...
    - to -
    ... wishes to create the impression of being educated ...

    Pretend did not originally have the sense of make believe or false claim that it now has. By using the rather archaic construction, the archaic meaning of pretends is preserved. If the sentence read
    "... everyone who pretends to be educated ..."
    the more modern sense of falsehood would become dominant.

    Curious stuff, English:)
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    To pretend originally meant "to claim", without reference to what was being claimed, or whether the claim was valid or not.
    Nowadays "pretend" only carries a meaning of falseness.
     
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