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    #1

    "Possible" and "Must Have"

    Hi!

    I'm a little bit confused as to what this sentence means:

    It is possible that he must have used it already.

    Why is the word "possible" used in the sentence when the other part of the sentence already expresses possibility.
    Is it redundant? Can you reword it for me in a different sentence?

    Shouldn't it be:

    It is possible that he used it already. (Is this better? Does it have a similar meaning? What's the difference?)

    Thanks.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "Possible" and "Must Have"

    Quote Originally Posted by asdf1234 View Post
    Hi!

    I'm a little bit confused as to what this sentence means:

    It is possible that he must have used it already.

    Why is the word "possible" used in the sentence when the other part of the sentence already expresses possibility.
    Is it redundant? Can you reword it for me in a different sentence?
    No wonder you're confused. It's not just redundant, it's wrong. Where did you find this?

    Shouldn't it be:

    It is possible that he used it already. (Is this better? Does it have a similar meaning? What's the difference?)

    Thanks.
    In fact, now I think of it, it may not be redundant - but only in a SciFi context involving multiple universes. If in universes A, C, F, and G he 'must have used it already'. But in universes B, D, E, and F there's no reason to expect that he has [maybe physics works differently there], then this makes sensze: 'it's possible that [in certain universes] he must have...' I don't think such a context is a serious possibility, but it's a theoretical possibility... Which reminds me - I mustn't forget my medication!

    b

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "Possible" and "Must Have"

    More seriously, 'It is possible that he used it already' expresses less certainty than 'He must have used it already'. Use whichever is appropriate. Don't just mix the two together (as in your first example sentence) because you're not sure which one to choose.

    b

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