A: Well, first, let’s understand what it means in Chinese.
In English, the closest translation would be the following:
1. pretentious (adj.)
矯飾的, 做作的; 炫耀的
自負的; 自命不凡的; 狂妄的
Synonyms: snobbish, conceited
2. phony (adj.)
Synonyms: fake, false, artificial
Pretentious means being fake or conceited (矯飾的/假的;自負的). Phony means being fake (假的; 欺騙的).
E.g. That pretentious couple always serves caviar at their parties, even though they themselves dislike it. –> you are stressing “pretending and being conceited" here
E.g. She always has this phony smile just before she betrays you. –> you are stressing “fake" here
Top 10 Most Pretentious Americans?