What is the difference between might and may? Eat this or else you may die. Eat this or else you might die. What's the difference. Please be simple.
Aug 1, 2014 5:00 PM
Answers · 7
Hi, I can't give you a "professional answer", as I am trying myself to improve my English level; but I have studied the may/might difference just this afternoon and I can share with you what my grammar says about the topic. Usually may and might are interchangeable. However, we do use "might": 1) always, when the situation is unreal (ex.: if they paid me better, I might work better (here "may" is not possible)); 2) preferably, in daily speech, when we speak about possibilities in the future (ex.: I might paint the kitchen purple); 3) in a formal or literary use, to speak about what was typically the case in the past (ex: Years ago children might be sent down mines at the age of six); In short, it seems that English-speakers will use "might" to speak about something that is unreal or more or less far in time. From that I would generalize and say that, for them, "might" must sound ...something further ... less sure or, better, more unsure than "may" ... but it is just my opinion. I hope you find my comment useful. I also hope that an English-speaker give his/her opinion about what I have written and, in case, corrects any mistakes. By the way, the grammar from which I have taken rules and examples is the "Advanced Grammar in Use" by Cambridge Press. Bye for now!
August 1, 2014
Put simply : 'might' is less likely than 'may'.
August 1, 2014
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