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Albert... c'est un homme qui pourrait posséder le monde entier si ça lui chante, comme il (le) disait.

By the phrase "comme il (le) disait" {"as he put it"}, the speaker wants to point out that this is not how he himself pictures Albert to be like, but rather that he’s merely quoting the expression Albert used to describe himself.

In this case, is it appropriate to omit "le" and say "comme il disait"?

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I such cases “selon ses propres mots” could be more appropriate, because “comme il disait” generally has a slight derogatory flavor. However, “comme il le disait lui-même” would also be perfectly fine.

For some reason, “comme il le disait” would more likely be used in other contexts for comparison rather than for attribution (“In the way he put it”).

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  • Could "d'après lui[-même]" work for attribution of a single phrase as in the OP's case or would it be reserved/better suited for use when discussing larger/entire concepts, as in [Histoire de] Napoleon d'apres lui-même, which I've seen translated as "Napoleon, In His Own Words." Thanks! – Papa Poule Aug 29 '16 at 15:05
  • @PapaPoule: You are perfectly right in saying it's better suited to larger concepts. It's like giving an opinion or a different perspective on something. – Stéphane Gimenez Aug 30 '16 at 9:02

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