Ashly Solís
Modals: May and might. Hi there! When should I use "may" and "might"? Might is the past form of may (this is what I know) but I don't really understand. Thank you very much! :)
Aug 9, 2014 5:57 AM
Answers · 8
In practice these 2 words are often used interchangeably, but this is a bad habit to get into as they do have different meanings: ´May´ means that a person can do something, i.e they have the permission or the ability to do it, e.g. ´yes you may leave the class early´ or ´he may take part in the competition (because he has the ability or permission to do so)´ or because they are expected to be able to fulfill a certain criteria, act or expectation e.g. ´he may be here in the morning´ i.e. it is known that he can be here in the morning, but it is not certain if he will be. Might indicates a level of probability, i.e. that there is something that could happen or not happen but there is no way of being certain about it, and it has nothing to do with permission, ability or expectation, e.g. ´he might leave the class early´ (but he doesn´t necessarily have the teacher´s permission to do so), ´he might take part in the competition´ (but nobody knows if he will or not, or if he is able to or not), and ´he might be here in the morning´= who knows? he might be here, he might not be, there is no way of knowing.
August 9, 2014
might 1.simple past tense of may1 . 2.(used to express possibility): They might be at the station. 3.(used to express advisability): You might at least thank me. 4.(used in polite requests for permission): Might I speak to you for a moment? Many times in the U.S. they are used interchangeably in everyday conversation. "They might be at the station." could also be "They may be at the station." "Might I speak to you?" could also be "May I speak to you?" There are some times when it would sound awkward to switch them, though. For instance, the 3rd example: "You might at least thank me," cannot be directly changed to "You may at least thank me." It sounds awkward. You'd have to switch it to "You may want to at least thank me."
August 9, 2014
Primero, I do not think that might is the past form of may. Like Tom said earlier, pienso que "may" means you are giving permission or asking for permission. Also, Like Tom said, "Might" is used to indicate probability. Aunque, May can also be used to indicate probability. It might rain. It may rain. both mean the same thing. Sin embargo, May I use your car and Might I use your car, are not the same. Pero. I might use you car, and I may use your car, are the same.
August 13, 2014
May and might are both ways of expressing possibility. Is there a difference between the way in which they should be used? Some people insist that you should use may (present tense) when talking about a current situation and might (past tense) when talking about an event that happened in the past. For example: I may go home early if I’m tired. (present tense) He might have visited Italy before settling in Nuremberg. (past tense) In practice, this distinction is rarely made today and the two words are generally interchangeable: I might go home early if I’m tired. He may have visited Italy before settling in Nuremberg. But there is a distinction between may have and might have in certain contexts. If the truth of a situation is still not known at the time of speaking or writing, either of the two is acceptable: By the time you read this, he may have made his decision. I think that comment might have offended some people. If the event or situation referred to did not in fact occur, it's better to use might have. --------------------- Source :
August 9, 2014
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