Does the statement,

He might very well say that.

close to "He might say that with high probability" or "He might say that with low probability" ?


Your summary of this is fairly accurate.

He might very well say that.

Literally, this does mean that "he" is highly likely to say whatever "that" is. But there can be a little more to it. It implies that the speaker anticipates what someone else might say, or even has said. More than that, depending on the way it is said it can also imply some level of indignation on the part of the speaker.

For example, the fictional character Francis Urquhart in the political drama House of Cards (both the British original and the US remake) often utters the phrase "You might very well think that. I couldn't possibly comment". The implication is that what the other person thinks (or says, as in your quote) is different to what you think or would say, and perhaps that the reason for this is either ignorance on the part of the other person, or that there is some intended deception. Of course, this is all implied and does depend on the context and tone of voice.

  • 1
    +1 for the Francis Urquhart reference :) – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 23 at 11:52

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