"She must be famous"; "She can be famous"; "She may be famous"; "She might be famous"

  • You cannot say "a accurateness" in English. – tchrist Mar 29 '16 at 21:41
  • Are you by any chance asking about the relative probability-of-truth associations of epistemic modals as opposed to bare statements of fact? So 'she is famous' = 10; 'she might be famous' = ?; ''She might just be famous' = ?; 'she is certainly famous' = ?; 'Who?' = 0. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 29 '16 at 21:50
  • It's unclear what you're asking. You can "score" any attribute you desire to, and for which you are able to devise an appropriate mathematical protocol for carrying this out. If you choose to call the attribute "accuracy" (not "accurateness") then you certainly may -- whether it's the truth or not is up to you, not us. – Hot Licks Mar 29 '16 at 22:10

I believe these can be ranked in terms of the speaker's sense of the likelihood.

She must be famous. How could she not be famous?

She can be famous. If she wanted to, she could become famous.

She might be famous. Nothing stands in the way of her being or becoming famous.

She may be famous. For all we know, she's famous. But who knows?

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No. There is no way to rank this other than personal connotation. However, if it is spoken, inflections of the speaker may provide clues as to what the speaker means. So yes, it's only "rank-able" by hearing the intonation.

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  • So... It's only perceptive by hearing the intonation? – Gabriel Riverfox Mar 29 '16 at 21:58

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