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Knowledge of Geology.— Practical, but limited. Tells at a glance different soils from each other. After walks has shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them.

Can I change this sentence by putting "he" between "walks" and "has"?

After walks (he) has shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them.

Source: A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle

  • 2
    Yes, this is an example of what is called diary drop or subject pronoun drop. We sometimes leave out the subject pronoun when writing informal short summaries or diaries (which is where the name "diary drop" comes from) and this is a great example. – stangdon Jan 20 '17 at 13:12
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It is omitted, but implied by the sentences before it.

Is this from a Sherlock Holmes novel? It reads like the author is profiling somebody - the previous two sentences state facts about (presumably) the same person. He is omitted, but as it is in a string of sentences about the same subject, you are expected to understand that they are all about the same person. For example,

He is wearing a hat. He is eating a sandwich. He is thinking about work.

Could also be written as:

He is wearing a hat. Eating a sandwich. Thinking about work.

Because they follow the first sentence which starts with He, that still applies.

  • Yes, A Study in Scarlet is a Sherlock Holmes novel. – Jasper Jan 20 '17 at 15:14

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