"One day, as Jones was pretending to do homework in his room, the phone rang" It seems to me that in the context "to do" means "the middle of the action", so it should be "to be doing"? ?

  • 2
    'Pretend' takes a to-infinitive; the continuous nature is adequately shown by 'was pretending' rather than say 'pretended'. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 30 at 18:19
  • thanks, does English distinguish between when pretend means " the ongoing action" and pretend means "getting into action"? When I came home he saw me and pretended to sleep (he saw me and then got into the action of pretending) when I came home he was pretending to sleep ( he had started pretencing before I came home) – vladv Apr 30 at 18:45
  • Yes. The example is tricky, as you start to pretend to be already sleeping. 'When I came home he saw me and pretended to be asleep.' Here, 'pretended to sleep' is not idiomatic. We say 'He's asleep.', not 'He sleeps.'. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 30 at 19:02

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