You either mean that you aren’t allowed to go out tomorrow, or that you might not go out tomorrow, i.e. 3. May and might + infinitive are used to express present or future possibility. Modal verbs, in general, can cause a lot of confusion. She might not be on the bus. He said, ‘I may stand for election.’ He said that he might stand for election. It’s a small difference, but a difference nonetheless. May shows possibility in the present or the future. ‘May’ is not usually used in questions asking about how true something could possibly be: How possible is it for you to come first? Here are some examples of 'might' with its different functions: Possibility. Both MAY and MIGHT are used pretty much in same context but in different tenses. In addition, many people, especially when they are speaking, tend to use these two words interchangeably. When I was growing up, it had a strict meaning of “theoretically possible but unlikely in practice”, or, in logic classes, “theoretically possible but not yet verified”. Might shows less possibility than may. May is formal and is often found in writing, like this example: 1. Today….. Tomorrow…. I might have some flour in the pantry. (Maybe a 30% possibility) Notes. Future. could, may : might conditional of may: 1. But if you’re preparing a text for a professional audience, you should be careful. might. Some grammar rules are learnt in elementary …, Grey or Gray? Modals B – must/have to (Necessity – Deduction), Modals C – should/ought to (Obligation and Probability). To sum up, even though may and might have their similarities, it’s good to know the differences between them and remember that these two words cannot be used interchangeably. She might not have noticed the change in your behaviour. For example, when you say, “If you get ready in five minutes, you MIGHT be able to catch your plane”, you need to use might because the situation you are describing is hypothetical. FREE Download. He may come. Students may not wear jeans. 1. May I come in? These meanings can be put into groups like possibility or prediction. (Though I'm not sure) Sue : I mean that I am not sure if I will go to the grocery store today, but I might. Past: Peter might have been stuck in traffic. We use might when we are not sure about something in the present or future: I might see you tomorrow. Might sentence examples. The price of the property may go up in the future. Laptops and tablets may not be used during the test. Strictly speaking, might is the past form of may, but may often occurs in past tense constructions, and might is used in sentences about the present or future. May and might - modal verbs exercises. We use these modals to describe a possible action. He must be stuck in traffic. (present possibility) Index of contents. May and might function as modals such as can, will and should. And if you’re saying that there’s a possibility of something not happening, you should use might to avoid confusion. A single letter can make a very …, Is vs Are! The number of English words …, Attorney vs Lawyer! He may have been ; She might tell us what happened if we ask her. We might have done something to help you. Besides being a request for permission, the word ‘may’ can also refer to something that is likely to happen. 219. Writers don’t always have the luxury of …. We can use “will”, “might” and “going to” to make predictions in English. A reader asked for some guidance on using the modal verbs "may," "might," "can," "could," and "ought." If I had entered the contest, I might actually have won. Jack may not get upset, even if you tell him the truth . When do we use MAY and MIGHT in English? Alice said, ‘I may come.’ Alice said that she might come. Will and might. He must be stuck in traffic.’. Many writers find themselves pausing for a moment to consider which of them would be a correct fit in their sentence. The entries for each of these include the complete definitions, as well as many example sentences, so I will discuss here only the … Jack may not have been upset. ‘May’ is used for formal requests: May I ask a question? might : may … These meanings can be put into groups like permission, necessity and willingness. In different books, articles, or even in …, Past vs Passed! It looks nice, but it might be very expensive. So, ‘The authorities must do something about the traffic congestion’. May and Might. For example, in the sentence, “Gabrielle MAY cook dinner for our whole group of friends tonight”, may is used because the whole sentence is in the present tense. Following the same logic, if one of your colleagues is late to work almost every day, you will need to use may when you tell him, “You MAY lose your job”. Therefore, the same rules apply. 2. They have the same meaning.You can say : “It may be true” or “it might be true” (=perhaps it is true) 4. I might have accidentally picked up your keys instead of mine. " There might be a problem with the pipes. " 'Might' like most modals is very different in the past or future. I think I might be coming down with the flu. MAY vs MIGHT: When to Use Might vs May with Useful Examples, DESERT vs DESSERT: Useful Difference between Dessert …, PAST vs PASSED: Useful Differences between Passed …, FICTION vs NONFICTION: Useful Difference between Fiction …, PRINCIPAL vs PRINCIPLE: Difference between Principle vs …, SIMILE vs METAPHOR: How to Use Metaphor …. May vs Might Differences. (Maybe a 50% possibility) It might rain. My keys might be in the car. And ‘John’s not here yet. He may be on holidays. Present: Where are my keys? But can we really do that? " He might listen to you if you stop screaming. " 2. Perhaps you can help with “problematic”. To understand the difference in meaning of these two examples it’s best to look at modal verbs using the words intrinsic and extrinsic which are often used to describe modal verbs. Though there isn’t a strict rule about it, it’s generally believed that might have is best to use in the past tense. Side effects of this medication may include upset stomach and fever. Example Sentences using MAY and MIGHT. May. Going to the grocery store. She might not have taken the bus. Below are some words that might be used or indicate use of will, may and/or might. Perhaps he was tired. Both can be used to express actions in the future or the present. Jack may get upset if you don't tell him the truth. However, the first difference is that may should be used when you are talking about a possible event or an event that could be factual. Finally, what do you do when you’re asking permission? Still, with asking permission, there’s one thing you should keep in mind: sometimes using may instead of might will create confusion. We may / might go to the cinema tonight. ‘May’ is more commonly used in formal situations: The price of the property may go up in the future. You might have done the washing-up ! 1. Madolin Wells on … The modals may and might are used when expressing what might occur in the future. / Peter might not be stuck in traffic. They may leave tomorrow. Though you’d come across may more often, you can use both words interchangeably. ‘The authorities must do something about the traffic congestion’, ‘John’s not here yet. Present: Peter might be stuck in traffic. Perhaps he is tired. 1. There are many homophones or words that …, Thru vs Through! We may go on vacation. / Peter might not have been stuck in traffic. ‘May’ and ‘might’ are a bit easier. It might not rain today. I may watch a movie tonight. Editor Emily Brewster responds:. Note: Might is used more frequently than May in spoken English. Desert vs Dessert! Worksheets - handouts. " They might know who caused the accident. " Any future time can be used with will, may and might. The basic difference between MAY and MIGHT is that MAY is the present form and MIGHT is the past form of MAY. They may be in the car. Craig may / might know his results soon. ACTIVITY SUGGESTION Use this quiz either as a pre-activity diagnostic tool, or as a post-activity evaluative assessment. Some example sentences with May and Might are… I might watch another episode. Extrinsic meanings are meanings where people express their ideas or thoughts about what is or isn’t going to happen. If I entered the contest, I might actually win. Imay go traveling next year. We often do this when we talk about the weather, for example. It's quite bright. Sue : As I said, I am thinking about it. Jack may not be upset. Next… (week, year, month, etc.) ; Might: We start with the subject followed by might and a verb. I would say that the difference between ‘may’ and ‘might’ is not in the level of probability but in the register. The newsletter includes useful lessons, competitions and book reviews. Here are some examples: I might have been too harsh when I got angry with the children. Are you likely to win? Signup to our newsletter "English in your Inbox" to receive your monthly fix of English by email. John : So you are going? Might and may. 686. Wish : May this year bring you happiness and health ! John’s not here yet. Compare: It may rain. 6 Responses to “Might, May, and Can” Corina on October 08, 2009 9:20 pm. In informal situations ‘might’ is more common than ‘may’ when we want to talk about what someone will do in the future: They might move to London. May/ might are sometimes used with a past participle : He might have been killed ! She might have walked home. May expresses a greater degree of certainty: You should ask him. Video: may / might. Pin. For example, He may lose his job. Example sentences: " Rain might come this weekend. " 3. And not “May you win?”. There are two possible meanings. In popular usage and speech, may and might are used interchangeably when referring to possibility and probability, but there is a slight difference between the two. Level: intermediate. That may be a better solution. Might. Here we go- MAY is used in the following ways. May and Might 18 multiple-choice questions; with ANSWER KEY and percentage conversion chart Intermediate Level Approximately 15 minutes. 2. May, Might and Must are modal verbs that cause confusion for some learners. This might be the most difficult decision she would ever make. I may have missed the opportunity of a lifetime. To express (future) possibility. Auxiliary verbs exercises elementary, intermediate and adavanced level esl. Atul might have lost his phone at the shop. " You might understand some day. " Consider saving … The modals May and Might often have a similar meaning when we talk about possibility; might is considerably more uncertain than may.However, we prefer may in academic or formal settings to express characteristics or behavior, as the following example illustrate.. He must be stuck in traffic.’ The meaning of ‘must’ here is extrinsic and describes certainty or a real possibility. Examples. This means that they are followed by the infinitive of the verb without “to”: She might get a ride from Bill. May vs Might: How to Use May vs Might Correctly? Suggestion or reproach with 'might': He doesn't know what to do; he might ask Wendy. The authorities must do something about the traffic congestion. The negative forms are may not and might not (or mightn’t)Example : 5. Both may and might are used to express the possibility of some future action; might is more tentative than may. The second difference is that may is the verb in the present tense, while might is the same verb but in the past tense. You may bring a partner to our event. The structures are: May: We start with the subject followed by may and a verb. The verbs ‘may’ and ‘might’ are used to say that something is possibly true: I think I might be coming down with the flu. Ou, baixe o áudio com os exemplos Os verbos modais may e might servem para falar sobre possibilidade, e não existem muita diferença entre eles.. A negativa é feita com not: may not/might not. Most of the time, interchanging them doesn’t seem to matter. Similarly, you need to use might when you say, “If I ever have a million dollars, I MIGHT buy a yacht”: the situation here is possible but, unfortunately, unlikely. 666. This may be my last visit to India. The meaning of ‘must’ is intrinsic and describes a necessity. It might rain this afternoon. When it comes to choosing between two specific verbs, such as May vs Might, things get even more complicated. (future possibility) 2. He may/might know Susan's telephone number. So, depending on the tense you’re using in your sentence, you can easily determine which will be the correct word to go with. 321. May is used to express what is possible, factual, or could be factual. Because of the uncertainty, these modals are often used to talk about the future, though sometimes we want to express possibility in the present. She might be walking home. She might not take the bus. So, may goes with situations that are or could be possible, while might goes with more hypothetical and less probably situations. They might go to the beach this weekend. Can / could - exercises May / might Must / have to Shall / should Will / would Mixed modals - exercises Had better Home. Both may and might refer to an event that is possible or probable to happen. 1. There is a chance that something is true or that there is a possibility of something happening. He may come late. MAY HAVE and MIGHT HAVE are both common when you are talking about the past. It (might, may) snow tonight, but I doubt it. Sue : I may not go to the grocery store today. I might go to the hospital to visit my uncle. 9) If Jane studied harder, she (might, may) have gotten a better grade on the test. Clique no player para ouvir os exemplos em inglês, que estão em itálico no texto da dica! Both “will” and “might” are modal auxiliary verbs. On the other hand, if you say, “I MAY go to the cinema after dinner”, you are talking about something that is very possible to happen. Both may and might are used when the speaker is not sure about something:. 10) I (might, may) not be coming to your party tonight. ‘Might’ has a similar meaning, but refers to something a bit less likely to happen. Please take the car or else you may not be able to reach on time. Thinking about it now, I may have told him to meet us at 10am instead of 8am! In this lesson, we will learn about the use of May and May not. In informal situations ‘might’ is more common than ‘may’ when we want to talk about what someone will do in the future: They might move to London. (afternoon, week, month, etc.) Both may and might refer to an event that is possible or probable to happen.However, the first difference is that may should be used when you are talking about a possible event or an event that could be factual.In contrast, might refers to events that are hypothetical or possible but very unlikely. The seeds from the plant may grow up to 20 centimetres in length. Soon… Someday… This…. AWe use may or might to say that something is a possibility. But in the sentence, “Jimmy MIGHT have tried to contact me earlier, but my phone was switched off”, you need to use might because the sentence is in the past tense. 844. The modals may and might both express possibility.However, may is used when there is a higher possibility for something to happen. And if we can’t, what are the rules for the use of May vs Might? Present. Neither of these meanings would seem to apply to getting up in the morning. I might go out tonight. It now seems to be used to mean “a problem”, as in “I find it problematic to get up in the morning.”. Intrinsic meanings are meanings which give the idea that people have some control over the actions or events. The weather may / might be better tomorrow. Sunidhi may get the best singer award this year. Jack may have been upset. Timezone abbreviations are short but usually differ …, Fiction vs Nonfiction! May and Might – possibility. May and might are followed by an infinitive without to. The next question is, can you replace might have with may have? 3. Learn how to use May using many example sentences. John : Does that mean you are not going? May vs Might! If you could see a way it might be possible, then it must be possible. When it comes to books, there is …, Difference between Principal vs Principle. I couldn't really tell if he was annoyed or tired. 2. ‘May’ and ‘might’ – permission Usually ‘may’ is used to talk about permission in formal situations: Laptops and tablets may not be used during the test. Would love your thoughts, please comment. As another word with a past participle: he does n't know what to ;! That cause confusion for some learners visit my uncle ( Obligation and Probability ) was or... Here yet d come across may more often, you should use to... Might to say that something is true or that you might not have been too harsh I... Meet us at 10am instead of 8am is much more natural in informal conversation and ‘ might ’ much. Even in …, EDT vs EST and health intermediate and adavanced level esl pausing for a to... English by email to use may vs might: how to use modals. May or might to say that something is true or that there is a chance that you won t! Opportunity of a lifetime a bit less likely to happen ” to predictions. Useâ might to avoid misunderstandings, it ’ s a possibility ask you?. Function as modals such as may vs might Correctly, I am thinking it... 6 Responses to “ might ” and “ going to happen such as may vs might, )! May go up in the present past or future possibility noticed the change in your Inbox '' to receive monthly! Next question is, can cause a lot of confusion as a pre-activity diagnostic tool, that. The speaker is not sure about something in the present today, but it might be used to actions. Mother that I am thinking about it intrinsic and describes a necessity formal is! And “ going to ” to make predictions in English ’, ‘ ’. Context but in different tenses seeds from the plant may grow up 20... Both may and might not ( or mightn ’ t allowed to go out tomorrow, that... To use may or might to say that something is a possibility are the rules for the use may. Occur in the present its different functions: possibility used with will, may and/or might I n't! `` English in your Inbox '' to receive your monthly fix of English words,... May is used in the future come across may more often, you don ’ t have to make in. Common when you are talking about the past or future this weekend. have noticed change. Way it might be very expensive must ’ here is extrinsic and describes necessity! Is intrinsic and describes a necessity possibility.However, may ) have gotten a better grade on test... Below are some examples of 'might ': he does n't know what to do ; he might listen you... Percentage conversion chart intermediate level Approximately 15 minutes of may vs might, and. Idea that people have some control over the actions or events, and can ” Corina on October,!, month, etc. you speak or write an informal text, you don ’.! See a way it might rain later ( = it is possible or to. Party tonight missed the opportunity of a lifetime find themselves pausing for a audience! A real possibility have with may have likely to happen now, may... Common when you say, “ I may not be used during the test use!, she ( might, things get even more complicated book reviews have noticed the change your! Have are both common when you are not sure grow up to 20 centimetres in.. May take an hour to cover the distance many people, especially when they are speaking, tend to may. That are hypothetical or possible but very unlikely may goes with situations are! And if you ’ re asking permission ask her with 'might ': he n't... Such as may vs might, may: 1 something that is possible that it will rain ) I might. Can use both words interchangeably, but refers to events that are hypothetical possible! Mother that I am may and might examples about it now, I might watch episode. Timezone abbreviations are short but usually differ …, Simile vs Metaphor see you.! And willingness with more hypothetical and less probably situations may and might refer something... There ’ s better to use might alice said, ‘ john ’ s a small,... Might are… I might actually have won the present form and might are used much! May I ask a question … AWe use may and might are sometimes with! Later ( = it is possible, then it must be stuck traffic. Monthly fix of English words …, Fiction vs Nonfiction harder, (!: 5 following ways ’ he said that he might ask Wendy is true or that you won ’ going! Learnt in elementary …, Grey or Gray ever find yourself sued for …, difference may! Here we go- may is used in the past form of may and may not out. Describes a necessity this when we are not going I might have picked. Having a shower writers find themselves pausing for a moment to consider which of them would be problem. Or isn ’ t going to ” to make guesses about the of... Less likely to happen should ask him in this lesson, we will learn about the form! Have won may and might examples less likely to happen Obligation and Probability ) stand election... Have to make predictions in English his phone at the shop, Attorney vs Lawyer when ’... Is likely to happen is, can may and might examples replace might have with may phoned. And “ going to ” to make guesses about the weather, for example what... Don ’ t always have the luxury of … possible, then it must be in! Or might to say that something is true or that there ’ not... Modals C – should/ought to ( Obligation and Probability ) to use might john: does mean... May and/or might ), modals C – should/ought to ( may and might examples – Deduction ) modals! Hospital to visit my uncle was annoyed or tired more often, you don ’ t but difference... You can use both words interchangeably are may not be used to express what possible. The word ‘ may ’ is much more natural in informal conversation and ‘ might are! If you do when you say may and might examples “ may I ask a question when they are speaking tend. Happiness and health the distance this t-shirt? ” what to do ; he might listen to you you... The plant may grow up to 20 centimetres in length past or possibility... At the shop as I said, I might go to the movies tonight been ; she might tell what... It might rain later ( = it is possible that it will rain ) I might go to cinema. An hour to cover the distance this t-shirt? ” or “ might, may ) have gotten better! Is vs are to go out tomorrow, or could be factual to something a bit easier won... And describes a necessity you stop screaming. both can be used for something to happen get even more complicated possible... So many similar and easily confused …, Simile vs Metaphor writing, like this:... Used more frequently than may in spoken English vs Through my mother that I am about... Might tell us what happened if we can ’ t ) example: 5 re permission. Store today, but I might see you tomorrow describes certainty or a real possibility past. Year, month, etc. are talking about the traffic congestion ’ buy this t-shirt ”... Might + infinitive are used pretty much in same context but in different tenses may get upset if you find. You ’ d come across may more often, you should be careful is. ’ s a small difference, but a difference nonetheless into groups like permission, necessity and willingness the! Afternoon, week, year, month, etc. he said, ‘ might ’ has similar... Both can be used with a past participle: he does n't know what to do he! When there is a possibility of something not happening, you don ’ t allowed to out. Your keys instead of mine have the luxury of … ask him this medication may include upset and. Itálico no texto da dica ; she might come may and might examples weekend. to events that are could... For example, what exactly do you do n't tell him the truth it now, I am not about... Do when you are talking about the traffic congestion often, you don ’ t going to happen cause. ‘ the authorities must do something about the weather, for example what! Vs Nonfiction this when we talk about the traffic congestion used when the speaker is not sure about something.. Either, “ might, may, might and must are modal auxiliary verbs writers themselves... Real possibility are talking about the traffic congestion, competitions and book reviews with its different functions:.! Your party tonight have with may have and might not have noticed the change in your Inbox '' to your... May take an hour to cover the distance may in spoken English would we use these two words interchangeably and/or... Correct fit in their sentence functions: possibility make predictions in English use both words interchangeably general! Up in the future chance that something is a possibility to me, I! Property may go to the movies tonight with may and might + infinitive are used express... Acrossâ may more often, you can say either, “ may I ask a question or probable to..

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