How to talk about pretending in German

In order to express the concept of “pretending” in German one usually has to use the construction “so tun als ob” (literally “to do as if/though”):

– “Er tut so als ob er liest.” – “He’s pretending to read.”
– “Wir tun nur so als ob wir schlafen.” – “We’re just pretending to sleep.”
– “Sie tut so als ob sie krank ist.” – “She’s pretending to be ill.”

When (for whatever reason) feigning illness, death or deafness one can also use “krank stellen”, “tot stellen” and “taub stellen”, respectively.

The verb “vortäuschen” is used in the sense of “to fake (being something one isn’t)”:

– “Täusch keine Müdigkeit vor!” – “Stop pretending to be tired!”

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