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I knew this game. Lundist held that a man who can observe is a man apart. Such a man can see opportunities where others see only the obstacles on the surface of each situation.

This is a quotation from Prince of Thorns, chapter 11.
How does this sentence work?
Is "he held that a man" equal to "he is a man"?
I've googled that "a man apart" = "standing apart because he has different traits" but I can't make any sense of the sentence. Why is there "is a man apart"? What kind of grammar is it?

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Held is the past participle of "hold." "Hold" here means "to believe or have a particular opinion about something." Here, it has been used with a clause following it. "a man who can observe" is the subject of the sentence "a man who can observe is a man apart." I speculate "a man apart" is also the reduced form of "a man who is apart."

  • I take "a man apart" to mean "a man who is special". I suppose by "a man who can observe" he means someone like Sherlock Holmes, someone who is able to make very careful observations, which is not a skill everyone has. – James K Jun 3 '17 at 15:42
  • @Ilya For more on the meaning of a man apart, see: ell.stackexchange.com/questions/30331/… – Ronald Sole Jun 3 '17 at 15:52

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