Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

We are back today with more false friends!

In the past we have featured false friends such as sensible and sensitive and the word “doubt” as well as a few others.

Today we will show you why you should be careful with the words “intend” and “pretend” especially if your native language is French, Spanish or Portuguese.

If you speak Spanish you know that the verb “pretender” means to intend or to expect something but if you use this meaning in English you will get into trouble.


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English meanings:

  • To pretend: To fake or simulate something or this can be used as an adjective when we say “pretend car.”
  • To intend: To plan on something, to have an intention, to be motivated to make something happen. This verb is used in more formal situations. It can also be used when you want to scold someone or when you are in a fight like this: “Well what do you intend to do with that?”

More examples:

  • This summer I intend to drive across the country.
  • Over the summer I intend to work out.
  • I used to pretend to have tea parties when I was a kid.


Listen to the episode to hear the sample conversation with Lindsay and Michelle.

Let us know your questions in the comments.

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