Everybody says/thinks I must be mad and they are probably right.

brian&me

Senior Member
Chinese - China
Hi, everyone.

The following is from New Concept English 2, L.G. Alexander, Longman.

Aeroplanes are slowly driving me mad. I live near an airport and passing planes can be heard night and day. ... I have been offered a large number of money to go away, but I am determined to stay here. Everybody says I must be mad and they are probably right.

I wonder if the ‘says’ in the last sentence means ‘thinks’.

Thanks a lot in advance.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Please check that you have copied correctly: I have been offered a large number of money:eek:

    If they are only thinking that you are mad, how do you know about it? They must have told you their opinion. "Everybody says I must be mad..." is of course an exaggeration, but there's nothing wrong with the expression.

     

    brian&me

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Thanks, velisarius.
    1. Sorry, 'number' should be 'sum' in I have been offered a large number of money...
    2. Why not 'said' or 'has said' instead of 'says'?
    Thanks again.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It's a present and ongoing situation. One assumes that the writer is still discussing the problem with his friends and acquaintances and they all say the same thing - they advise him to accept the large sum of money, and tell him that he would be mad not to.

    Edit: I understand what you mean - the friends will go on thinking the same thing, but probably each one will only have spoken out on the subject once. When we say "My friends all say I'm mad not to accept the money", we mean that this is the opinion they have expressed, and we have no reason to think they have changed their minds.
     
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