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"Never mind that, do you think he remembers what You-Know-Who looks like?"

Their mother suddenly became very stern.

"I forbid you to ask him, Fred. No, don't you dare. As though he needs reminding of that on his first day at school."

This is from the book Harry Potter. I had a hard time to understand the sentence in bold above.

  1. "As though" looks strange.

  2. The usage of "reminding of" is unusual and it's typically used as "reminding sb. of sth.".

  3. It looks like a incomplete sentence and there seems something that has been dropped.

Can someone help me to understand the sentence?

  • 1
    The reference is to a variety of teen-speak in California where as if means "How could anyone in their right mind think that!" which is pretty much what as though means in your quote above. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 5 '18 at 13:19
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Yes, the sentence has a small part omitted from it, like 'it looks':

(Due to Fred's expressed intention) it looks as though (= as if) he needs reminding of that...

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/as-and-as-expressions/as-if-and-as-though

In other words: 'One could think he needs...'

'Reminding of that' doesn't differ much from 'reminding sb. of sth.' since the missing 'sb.' is mentioned as 'he' (he needs + the noun phrase 'reminding of that').

  • So Fred's mother is saying: he(Harry) need be reminded of that on his first day at school. Is that right? On the other hand, what's "that" referring to exactly? – dan Oct 5 '18 at 10:19
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    No, he doesn't need it, but Fred behaves as if Harry needed reminding of that thing. – Alex_ander Oct 5 '18 at 10:33
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    The mother is saying that he should certainly NOT be reminded of it. The phrase as though is a kind of reprimand there. It is similar to How could you think such a thing!? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 5 '18 at 13:03
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    I suggest editing this answer to replace "it looks" with "you are speaking" or something like that. In my opinion, "it looks" doesn't make sense here. – Tanner Swett Oct 5 '18 at 18:06
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Yes, the sentence is an incomplete sentence, or sentence fragment. A complete-sentence version of what Fred's mother is saying would be:

You are speaking as though he needs reminding of that on his first day at school.

Her point is that Fred should not remind Harry about You-Know-Who on Harry's first day of school.

Alex_ander's answer states that another way to complete the sentence would be "It looks as though he needs reminding of that on his first day at school". In my opinion, this is not a good way to complete the sentence, because Fred's mother wouldn't say that unless she actually believed that Harry needed reminding.

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