He must be stuck in traffic.’ The meaning of ‘must’ here is extrinsic and describes certainty or a real possibility. Most of the time, interchanging them doesn’t seem to matter. The verbs ‘may’ and ‘might’ are used to say that something is possibly true: I think I might be coming down with the flu. May and might function as modals such as can, will and should. If you ever find yourself sued for …, Simile vs Metaphor! And if we can’t, what are the rules for the use of May vs Might? We may be invited but I’m not sure. Sue : I mean that I am not sure if I will go to the grocery store today, but I might. 1. 1. Therefore, only sentences such as, “If I hadn’t been so busy yesterday, I MIGHT have given you a call” will be acceptable. May and might are followed by an infinitive without to. They may leave tomorrow. May is used to express what is possible, factual, or could be factual. 449. This might be the most difficult decision she would ever make. Might sentence examples. 2K. " You might understand some day. " Modal verbs, in general, can cause a lot of confusion. May and Might – possibility. So, ‘The authorities must do something about the traffic congestion’. Might. The negative forms are may not and might not (or mightn’t)Example : 5. May, Might and Must are modal verbs that cause confusion for some learners. 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. 'Might' like most modals is very different in the past or future. Both may and might are used when the speaker is not sure about something:. We might have done something to help you. " There might be a problem with the pipes. " I told my mother that I would Present. A single letter can make a very …, Is vs Are! Desert vs Dessert! He may be on holidays. This may be my last visit to India. Intrinsic meanings are meanings which give the idea that people have some control over the actions or events. Future. 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 …. I think I might be coming down with the flu. And not “May you win?”. For example, what exactly do you mean when you say, “I MAY not go out tomorrow”? The seeds from the plant may grow up to 20 centimetres in length. Compare: It may rain. John : Does that mean you are not going? 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. Perhaps it’s time to surrender “problematic” as another word with a precise meaning ruined by generalization. May shows possibility in the present or the future. Besides being a request for permission, the word ‘may’ can also refer to something that is likely to happen. With so many similar and easily confused …, EDT vs EST! You either mean that you aren’t allowed to go out tomorrow, or that you might not go out tomorrow, i.e. Part 2 - Modals B – must/have to (Necessity – Deduction), Part 3 - Modals C – should/ought to (Obligation and Probability), Lesson by Tristan, English teacher at EC Malta English school, Decide if these sentences denote Permission, Possibility. She might not have taken the bus. Would love your thoughts, please comment. May and might - modal verbs exercises. When it comes to choosing between two specific verbs, such as May vs Might, things get even more complicated. And ‘John’s not here yet. FREE Download. Laptops and tablets may not be used during the test. Please take the car or else you may not be able to reach on time. 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. It's quite bright. These meanings can be put into groups like possibility or prediction. He must be stuck in traffic.’. could, may : might conditional of may: 1. So, you can say either, “MAY I ask you something?” or “MIGHT I buy this t-shirt?”. Here are some examples of 'might' with its different functions: Possibility. May vs Might! Many writers find themselves pausing for a moment to consider which of them would be a correct fit in their sentence. We can use “will”, “might” and “going to” to make predictions in English. Modals B – must/have to (Necessity – Deduction), Modals C – should/ought to (Obligation and Probability). 3. You might have done the washing-up ! there is a chance that you won’t. So, depending on the tense you’re using in your sentence, you can easily determine which will be the correct word to go with. Jack may get upset if you don't tell him the truth. Students may not wear jeans. In addition, many people, especially when they are speaking, tend to use these two words interchangeably. May. May is formal and is often found in writing, like this example: 1. To express (future) possibility. 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. It might have done damage inside. 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. He may come late. 10) I (might, may) not be coming to your party tonight. In this lesson, we will learn about the use of May and May not. 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. There are many homophones or words that …, Thru vs Through! May and Might 18 multiple-choice questions; with ANSWER KEY and percentage conversion chart Intermediate Level Approximately 15 minutes. Still, with asking permission, there’s one thing you should keep in mind: sometimes using may instead of might will create confusion. The next question is, can you replace might have with may have? If I had entered the contest, I might actually have won. 1. Alice said, ‘I may come.’ Alice said that she might come. We use these modals to describe a possible action. Example Sentences using MAY and MIGHT. Editor Emily Brewster responds:. Clique no player para ouvir os exemplos em inglês, que estão em itálico no texto da dica! 2. Only hotel guests may use the facilities. ACTIVITY SUGGESTION Use this quiz either as a pre-activity diagnostic tool, or as a post-activity evaluative assessment. (future possibility) 2. Signup to our newsletter "English in your Inbox" to receive your monthly fix of English by email. Example sentences: " Rain might come this weekend. " 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. Imay go traveling next year. We may go on vacation. 6 Responses to “Might, May, and Can” Corina on October 08, 2009 9:20 pm. When it comes to books, there is …, Difference between Principal vs Principle. The modals may and might are used when expressing what might occur in the future. My keys might be in the car. ‘May’ is not usually used in questions asking about how true something could possibly be: How possible is it for you to come first? Neither of these meanings would seem to apply to getting up in the morning. 2. Jack may not have been upset. In different books, articles, or even in …, Past vs Passed! Might and may. Soon… Someday… This…. Writers don’t always have the luxury of …. ‘May’ is more commonly used in formal situations: The price of the property may go up in the future. 214. Side effects of this medication may include upset stomach and fever. I might have accidentally picked up your keys instead of mine. The entries for each of these include the complete definitions, as well as many example sentences, so I will discuss here only the … The weather may / might be better tomorrow. Video: may / might. Craig may / might know his results soon. There is a chance that something is true or that there is a possibility of something happening. AWe use may or might to say that something is a possibility. Perhaps you can help with “problematic”. It now seems to be used to mean “a problem”, as in “I find it problematic to get up in the morning.”. Sue : I may not go to the grocery store today. I might have some flour in the pantry. But if you’re preparing a text for a professional audience, you should be careful. " He might listen to you if you stop screaming. " These meanings can be put into groups like permission, necessity and willingness. John : So you are going? They may be in the car. The number of English words …, Attorney vs Lawyer! The structures are: May: We start with the subject followed by may and a verb. He must be stuck in traffic. It might rain later (= it is possible that it will rain) I might go to the movies tonight. May and Might. 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. That may be a better solution. Jack may not be upset. (Though I'm not sure) It (might, may) snow tonight, but I doubt it. Thinking about it now, I may have told him to meet us at 10am instead of 8am! (Maybe a 30% possibility) Notes. She might be walking home. 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. " They might know who caused the accident. " 1. May I come in? But can we really do that? The verbs ‘may’ and ‘might’ are used to say that something is possibly true: I think I might be coming down with the flu. We use might when we are not sure about something in the present or future: I might see you tomorrow. It’s a small difference, but a difference nonetheless. I would say that the difference between ‘may’ and ‘might’ is not in the level of probability but in the register. Auxiliary verbs exercises elementary, intermediate and adavanced level esl. We often do this when we talk about the weather, for example. May and might + infinitive are used to express present or future possibility. 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.. Pin. We use may have and might have to make guesses about the past: I haven't received your letter. 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. I couldn't really tell if he was annoyed or tired. Future: I may go to the party tonight. Perhaps he is tired. Finally, what do you do when you’re asking permission? I may have missed the opportunity of a lifetime. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 321. Today….. Tomorrow…. Present: Peter might be stuck in traffic. 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. Though there isn’t a strict rule about it, it’s generally believed that might have is best to use in the past tense. He may have phoned while I was having a shower. 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. Note: Might is used more frequently than May in spoken English. That may be a better solution. It might rain this afternoon. The modals may and might both express possibility.However, may is used when there is a higher possibility for something to happen. I might go to the hospital to visit my uncle. Any future time can be used with will, may and might. 9) If Jane studied harder, she (might, may) have gotten a better grade on the test. We may / might go to the cinema tonight. ‘Might’ has a similar meaning, but refers to something a bit less likely to happen. Because of the uncertainty, these modals are often used to talk about the future, though sometimes we want to express possibility in the present. Both may and might refer to an event that is possible or probable to happen. I might go out tonight. Consider saving … In contrast, might refers to events that are hypothetical or possible but very unlikely. Below are some words that might be used or indicate use of will, may and/or might. Are you likely to win? She might get a ride from Bill. (Maybe a 50% possibility) It might rain. (afternoon, week, month, etc.) May vs Might Differences. You may bring a partner to our event. The second difference is that may is the verb in the present tense, while might is the same verb but in the past tense. Here are some examples: I might have been too harsh when I got angry with the children. Learn collocations of May with free vocabulary lessons. ‘May’ and ‘might’ are a bit easier. Perhaps he was tired. Madolin Wells on … May and Might. Timezone abbreviations are short but usually differ …, Fiction vs Nonfiction! Jack may have been upset. (present possibility) And if you’re saying that there’s a possibility of something not happening, you should use might to avoid confusion. 3. MAY HAVE and MIGHT HAVE are both common when you are talking about the past. A reader asked for some guidance on using the modal verbs "may," "might," "can," "could," and "ought." Here we go- MAY is used in the following ways. May/ might are sometimes used with a past participle : He might have been killed ! Past: Peter might have been stuck in traffic. John’s not here yet. The authorities must do something about the traffic congestion. Both can be used to express actions in the future or the present. It may take an hour to cover the distance. When do we use MAY and MIGHT in English? When you speak or write an informal text, you don’t have to worry about it.