What is the meaning of

It can be false.

My possible explainations are: 1. The subject "it" is sometimes false 2. The subject "it" is false( then why "can' is used instead of "is".)

Please explain which one of the two is correct, if any and why. If not, explain the correct meaning with context.

1 Answer 1


"Can" would normally imply possibility "It can be false" means "sometimes false".

There is slightly technical use, in logic. If a sentence is true, it is true for all values. If there is a single counter-example, the sentence is false, thus "If x is a prime number then x is odd" can be true (if x=3 or x=5 etc) but it can be false if x=2, and so it is false.

If you are doing logic then each proposition is either true or false and one doesn't use modal verbs. If not then "can" has its usual meaning, and means "sometimes".

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