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Let's pretend…
Where and when did "pretend like" arise?
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2013/03/18
3:53am
tromboniator
Alaska
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During my childhood, too many decades ago, I would “pretend” or “pretend that,” for example, I lived in the woods. Nowadays it seems that people everywhere, including my own offspring, “pretend like.” The construction makes no sense to me, nor do I know where it comes from. Can anyone offer some insight?

2013/03/18
4:53am
Raffee
Iran
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IMHO, it’s something just spoken and can be understood by comparing it to people’s use of ‘I was like’. At least, It might have been so at first, but having been used so many times, it now seems like a standard construction.

2013/03/18
7:14am
Robert
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By Ngram, ‘pretend like‘ has spiked up sharply since 1980 ( though if you put in ‘pretend,’ the like version is still a tiny fraction ).

The other ‘like’ ( as in I am like ) seems to have a purpose to it, as if to say ‘it is approximately this, because I need to skip the details for now.’  
But ‘pretend like’ seems no improvement over just ‘pretend.’
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