# How can I prevent Mathematica from evaluating or "simplifying" an expression?

Simple example:

k = 5;
list = {};
For[i = 1, i <= k - 2,
AppendTo[list, 1/(1 + Cos[i Pi/k])];
i = i + 2];
Print[list];

{1/(1+1/4 (1+Sqrt[5])),1/(1+1/4 (1-Sqrt[5]))}


I want the expression to be kept and printed as:

{1/(1 + Cos[Pi/5]), 1/(1 + Cos[3 Pi/5])}


I have tried Hold and its several versions, but nothing seems to do the trick.

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k = 5;
list = {};
For[i = 1, i <= k - 2,
With[{i = i, k = k},
AppendTo[list, HoldForm[1/(1 + Cos[(i \[Pi])/k])]]];
i = i + 2];
Print[list];


• Perhaps Table[With[{i = i, k = k}, HoldForm[1/(1 + Cos[i Pi /k])]], {i, 1, k - 2, 2}] is more Mathemaica-ish Commented Mar 31, 2013 at 23:22
• @belisarius I know, but that's not what the OP wanted. Commented Apr 1, 2013 at 8:31
• Sjoerd: I know you know :). I was "talking" to the OP. Sorry for the confusion Commented Apr 1, 2013 at 8:46

As stated HoldForm is your friend here. Also see Defer if you intend to reuse the output.

Equivalent methods:

Table[With[{i = i, k = k}, HoldForm[1/(1 + Cos[i Pi/k])]], {i, 1, k - 2, 2}]

Table[{i, k} /. {i_, k_} :> HoldForm[1/(1 + Cos[i Pi/k])], {i, 1, k - 2, 2}]

Table[HoldForm[1/(1 + Cos[# Pi/#2])] &[i, k], {i, 1, k - 2, 2}]