he presumed that I was one

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dks

New Member
Hindi
Consider the direct speech:

"You are one of the Pinkerton's men, I presume," he said.

I converted it to indirect speech as follows:

He said that he presumed that I was one of the Pinkerton's men.

But it is not correct. Please help me in identifying the mistake. What would be the correct indirect speech in the sentence?
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Welcome to the forums, dks!

    Your transformation looks OK to me. What were the other options, if any?
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Who said it was not correct? There is one error in both: there should not be 'the' before 'Pinkerton's men'. But that doesn't affect the change to indirect speech. (I recognized this quotation: you should tell us it is from Stephen Leacock, if you have that information.)
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    But it is not correct. Please help me in identifying the mistake.
    Why do you think there's a mistake?

    Perhaps it's to do with "the Pinkerton" and should have been "one of the Pinkerton men" (without the apostrophe and s) or "one of Pinkerton's men" (without "the").

    Cross-posted.
     

    dks

    New Member
    Hindi
    Welcome to the forums, dks!

    Your transformation looks OK to me. What were the other options, if any?
    Thank you Loob. Following are the all four options of the question

    1. He said that he presumed me one one of Pinkerton's men.
    2. He said that he presumed that I was one of Pinkerton's men.
    3.He said that he presumed me as one of Pinkerton's men.
    4. He said that he presumed that I am one of Pinkerton's men.
     

    dks

    New Member
    Hindi
    Who said it was not correct? There is one error in both: there should not be 'the' before 'Pinkerton's men'. But that doesn't affect the change to indirect speech. (I recognized this quotation: you should tell us it is from Stephen Leacock, if you have that information.)
    Yes, this is a typo. Article 'the' is not present in any of the sentences. Please ignore this typo.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    1. He said that he presumed me one one of Pinkerton's men.:cross:
    2. He said that he presumed that I was one of Pinkerton's men.:tick:
    3.He said that he presumed me as one of Pinkerton's men.:cross:
    4. He said that he presumed that I am one of Pinkerton's men.:cross:
    Why did you use 'of the Pinkerton's men'? That's what's wrong. The originals all say 'of Pinkerton's men'.
    The reported speech as in #2 using 'was' is correct.
    It's so important to pay close attention to details like this.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    There's clearly a mistake in the book: Option (3) is definitely incorrect, and so, for a different reason, is Option (4).

    Option (1) is just about possible, I think, though decidedly stiff.

    Option (2) is by far the best answer, though it would flow better if you omitted the second "that":
    He said that he presumed I was one of Pinkerton's men.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    It's simply that we don't say "presume ... as".

    I might, for example, say "I see him as important".

    But I would not say "I presume him as important":cross:. I'd say "I presume that he is important".
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    I agree with both Loob (I presume Loob didn't notice the repetition of "one" in the first option, which is wrong, of course) and Barque. I think deleting any one "that" from the second option makes the sentence smoother.

    And I believe even option 4 could be argued for better than option 3.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    It was the Pinkerton Agency, yes, but it was commonly called Pinkerton's, just as Kroger stores are often incorrectly called "Kroger's.".
     
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