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believed himself a good man

English translation: Yes

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07:41 Sep 20, 2011
Japanese to English translations [PRO]
Poetry & Literature
Japanese term or phrase: believed himself a good man
Jack believed himself a good man.

Shouldn't this be "Jack believed himself to be a good man." (Although I've heard it spoken the other way.)

Thank you.
Joyce A
Thailand
Local time: 15:05
English translation:Yes
Explanation:
In spoken discourse this is OK, but you're right, it's generally better to use "to be a good man" here because in other, similar constructions it can prevent miscommunication.
Selected response from:

Ryan Layman
Local time: 17:05
Grading comment
Thank you, Ryan!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +2Yes
Ryan Layman
Summary of reference entries provided
Not reallyJulian Rippon

  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Yes


Explanation:
In spoken discourse this is OK, but you're right, it's generally better to use "to be a good man" here because in other, similar constructions it can prevent miscommunication.

Ryan Layman
Local time: 17:05
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you, Ryan!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Vladys
5 mins

agree  Ted Lai: agree
2 hrs

neutral  Steven F Smith: Depends on context I would have thought. Both are grammatically fine. To my ears and eyes, the omission of 'to be' is more of a written than a spoken form.
3 hrs

disagree  xxxWarren Greav: In poetry and literature, technical precision is less important than the "feel" of a sentence. "believed himself to be~" is better. If it wasn't ambiguous, it wouldn't be poetry! :P
106 days

agree  xxxSpenser Estr
110 days
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Reference comments


1 hr peer agreement (net): +2
Reference: Not really

Reference information:
You ask whether it "should" be "believed himself to be a good man".
I don't think there is any particular rule about this, and either is acceptable.
Search for "believed himself" (including the quotations marks) in Google and you will find hits that include "to be" and hits that don't. If you change it to "considered himself" you will find many more that don't include "to be".
So assuming the context is clear, either is fine.

Julian Rippon
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  53507
1 day 21 hrs
  -> Thanks.
agree  David Patrick
2 days 1 hr
  -> Thanks.
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