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He must have his own way.

What does the verb must mean in the sentence? Does it mean

(1) it is fairly sure that he is the kind of person who would not be happy if he doesn't have his own way? OR

(2) it literally means that it is necessary for him to have his own way?

Could you help me clarify it? Thank you always.

  • I don't see how an epistemic reading is available here, for the standalone sentence. If I can hear a certain noise on the windows, even if the curtains are drawn I can say 'It must be raining' (although I'd be more likely to give a facial expression or perhaps give the unnecessary 'It's raining'). But 'It is necessary that he have his own way' doesn't make sense on its own. // 'He must be allowed to have his own way' is one deontic reading (= 'We've got to give him the freedom to choose [in this situation]'). / The ... – Edwin Ashworth Mar 7 '18 at 16:05
  • default reading is the resigned '[We've done our best to give him good advice, but] he's got to have his own way'. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 7 '18 at 16:05

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