I wouldn't presume

pera_palas

Senior Member
Turkish
Hello Everyone,
I am not sure what "I wouldn't presume" means in the following context.

The dialogue is between a guy and a girl (in the Forces of Nature -Ben Affleck movie)
The guy says "Will be you here when I get back"?
The girl says "Well, you know me"
And the guy answers: "I wouldn't presume".

Now as a non-native speaker, I take it in two ways:
First, I wouldn't presume -if I were you- that I know you.
Second, I wouldn't presume what you can do (meaning whether you'll be here or not)

Which one do you think is the right one?

Thank you so much in advance
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm not sure I'd take it as either, PP.

    I'd think the guy was saying that he wouldn't presume knowledge of the girl's mental processes.

    The comment suggests that he doesn't know her yet, and doesn't want to put her off by implying familiarity.
     

    lapdwicks

    Senior Member
    Sinhala
    The guy says "Will be you here when I get back"?
    The girl says "Well, you know me"
    And the guy answers: "I wouldn't presume".
    I feel it as follows,

    The guy says "Will be you here when I get back"? =(This seems to be an order rather than a question). "Be here".
    The girl says "Well, you know me" = "OK. Aren't you sure (that I would be here)?"
    And the guy answers: "I wouldn't presume". = "I'm not sure (that you would be here)".
     

    MirandaEscobedo

    Senior Member
    British English
    1) The guy says "Will be you here when I get back"? -- Thus must be a typo for 'Will you be here ...?' so it's a question.
    2) The girl says "Well, you know me" Here, I would agree more or less with lapdwicks: Aren't you sure (that I would be here)
    3)
    the guy answers: "I wouldn't presume." Here, I would agree more or less with Thomas Tampion that he is saying something like, yes, that's what he would have thought but he is hesitant to suggest that he knows her so well that he can predict her actions -- or maybe even that their relationship is so strong that she would wait for him.
     

    pera_palas

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Thank you all. Yes, the guy and the girl do not have a pretty strong relationship. They know each other for only two days yet they like each other. However the girl is pretty unpredictable. And therefore I was confused that the guy may mean both he did not know her enough, and the woman is unpredictable. I think in this case, it is more of an interpretation.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think "I woudn't presume" means "What do you mean "You know me". You're unpredictable :D

    I hope I did not say anything stupid
    I can't see why it might mean that.

    It's often regarded as presumptuous to say to someone that you know them; it is to invade their personal mystery. I would never say I knew someone, even someone very close to me. I wouldn't presume to do it.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I can't see why it might mean that.

    It's often regarded as presumptuous to say to someone that you know them; it is to invade their personal mystery. I would never say I knew someone, even someone very close to me. I wouldn't presume to do it.
    Just came across this. I know it is a year-old thread but thought I'd add my bit.

    Thomas, I agree Ben Affleck's character meant he wouldn't presume knowledge of the girl's mental processes. If you take another look at Long619's post, I believe you will find he was saying the same thing.

    His post reads -

    I think "I wouldn't presume" means "What do you mean "You know me". You're unpredictable

    - by which he (Long619) means that the actor disagrees with the actress's (or female actor if you prefer) statement that he (the actor) knows her. And as the character the actress plays is free-spirited and unpredictable, that's another reason for him to be reluctant to presume to know what she would do.

    Similarly in PP's second option in the opening post, where he said it might mean "I wouldn't presume what you can do...", I think he is expressing the same view as you - that the guy meant that he wouldn't presume to know what she would decide to do.

    At first glance everyone who has posted seems to have a different opinion but they are all much the same. If I may presume to say so....;)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top