They must known his own place.

Does this sentence grammatically correct and make sense in any context?

It was given to me for translation as part of my studying English but I can't see any sense without changing known into have known/know/knew. And even then I'm not sure how to interpret to know one's own place. Is it a variant of the idiom to know one's place or just about apartments?

  • Your analysis is correct: it's nonsense. Not only it is not grammatical, but even if you amend it as you have suggested it has no obvious meaning.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 22:12

2 Answers 2


As already answered, to know one's place means to understand your role, or rank. Most often an order to "know your place" is used to humble someone who has overstepped their authority.

Your sentence:

“They must known his own place”

Isn't grammatically correct. "They" can refer to one person, but in that case it ought to be:

They must know their own place.


They should know their own place.

If you want to retain the word "his" then it should be rendered:

He must/should know his own place.

  • Thank you, Astralbee! So if I read you right "know one's own place" carries the same meaning as "know one's place" and has nothing to do with apartments (there is no ambiguity here). Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 13:29
  • @AlexeyPlatonov Ah, we do say "my place" referring to our home. But as an idiom "know your place" is definitely as I have described. Consider the context to be certain.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 13:37
  • What sense does the phrase make when it refers to one's home? Does it mean that I know the home location or visited it earlier? Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 13:51
  • @AlexeyPlatonov See your quote "They must known his own place" is not grammatically correct so I have had to assume what it should be. You're casting doubt now. If you said "I know his place" it could mean you know where you someone lives, but "own place" doesn't sound right in that context. Could you perhaps show the quote in context? Give us the surrounding text?
    – Astralbee
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 15:44
  • I was given this phrase without any specific context, so that I could think about variants of interpretation. As I noted at the begining I was confused with "known". But may the phrase even being grammatically correct carry different meanings? Is the place with "...place":) an idiom or not? In addition I suppose "they" may be not only a personal pronoun but an impersonal one (like "you" and "one" in certain contexts). Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 17:46

To know one's place is an idiomatic expression meaning to be aware of the limit of one's role in a particular place or situation. In this context, the correct version of the sentence would be "They must know their place" or "They should have known their place" but that's grammar, not the usage.


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