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In situations like this one (neither I know if this sentence is gramatically correct, nor I know who is Merkel): "In her campaigning, Ms Merkel never pretended to be a dissident or an oposition activist in the GDR." Are there any other similar forms like maybe "to had been"(idk if it even exists)?

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  • In the context of to pretend to [verb] (He pretends to know, She pretended to listen), the [verb] element must always be an infinitive (only the "primary" verb pretend is conjugated for tense / number). So there's no such sequence as pretend to had been in English. Chancellor Angela Merkel has been in charge of Germany (and effectively, the EU) for many years now. Oct 29, 2019 at 15:40

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It would be:

In her campaigning, Ms Merkel never pretended to have been a dissident or an opposition activist in the GDR.

It would mean that she never pretended (in the then present) to have been something in the past (i.e. prior to the then present).

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