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    #1

    sentence by Agatha Christie

    Dear teachers,

    I found this sentence by Agatha Christie which was unfortunately incomplete. Sould the verb be WAS or IS? And should we add a comma after "married"?

    "Alix has just found some newspaper cuttings in a drawer, proving that Gerald, the man she recently married s actually Charles Le Maitre, a woman-killer wanted by the police."

    = "recently married, was / is actually Charles..." ?
    Should we have WAS with HAD just FOUND, and IS with HAS just FOUND?

    Would it be possible to find the original text on the net?

    Best wishes,
    Hela

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: sentence by Agatha Christie

    It's from Philomel Cottage, right?

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    #3

    Re: sentence by Agatha Christie

    "Alix has just found some newspaper cuttings in a drawer, proving that Gerald, the man she recently married is actually Charles Le Maitre, a woman-killer wanted by the police."

    Is seems more logical here - we assume that Gerald is still alive and that he is still Charles Le Maitre.

    Was could be used in indirect speech, for example:

    Alix found some newspaper cuttings in a drawer. The cuttings said that Gerald was actually Charles Le Maitre, a woman-killer wanted by the police.

    When we use indirect speech, we normally "shift back" a tense, so "is" becomes "was". The meaning is still present, we are just reporting what someone else said.

    Keith

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    #4

    Re: sentence by Agatha Christie

    That's right, Casiopea. Do you know if I can browse the book on the net?

    Thanks Keith

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    #5

    Re: sentence by Agatha Christie

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    That's right, Casiopea. Do you know if I can browse the book on the net?
    I haven't been able to find a free ebook. Sorry.


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    #6

    Re: sentence by Agatha Christie

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    I haven't been able to find a free ebook. Sorry.
    You won't - Agatha Christie's books will remain in copyright until the year 2091.

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    #7

    Re: sentence by Agatha Christie

    I'll be dead then

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #8

    Re: sentence by Agatha Christie

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    I'll be dead then
    hela, you're not dead. The verb is present tense "is"; it states a fact. Moreover, the man she recently married is still alive, right?

    "Alix has just found some newspaper cuttings in a drawer, proving that Gerald, the man she recently married is actually Charles Le Maitre, a woman-killer wanted by the police."

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    #9

    Re: sentence by Agatha Christie

    I think you've misunderstood hela, Casi. 'I'll be dead then' can be interpreted (correctly, hela ) in two ways:

    By that time I will be dead. [It might have been clearer if it had had a 'by' before the 'then', but it's not wrong without]
    or
    In that case, I must be dead. [This is an unusual interpretation, but it's possible.]

    b

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    #10

    Re: sentence by Agatha Christie

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I think you've misunderstood hela, Casi.
    The other way around, Bob. Some time has passed since hela's last post and my response. She might have thought she was dead (figuratively speaking). Thus my response: you're not dead (no worries).

    I think I'm going to take a break from UsingEnglish for a while.

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