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  1. #1
    Happpy is offline Newbie
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    Default When we use "BE" with "may" and "might"?

    Hello,

    When/where we use "BE" with "may" and "might"? I'm learning English Language, so please give me answer in easy English with examples as well.


    Regards,

  2. #2
    Happpy is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: When we use "BE" with "may" and "might"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    They have almost the same meaning. One exception is that might is the past tense of may. So you have to use might when you are referring to the past. For example, even if it's likely that John worked yesterday you shouldn't say, John may have have worked; you should say, John might have worked yesterday.

    General rule -
    Use may when something has a good chance of happening - I may dance tonight.

    Use might when something does not have a good chance of happening - I might climb that mountain after work.
    First if all I'm very thankful to you Sir after giving answer to me after many days.

    OK Sir, I've understand that "might" uses for past and "may" uses for present. But I'm still unclear that why we use "be" with both may and might? What's "BE"? Why we use it? Where it has come from?

    Here are some examples:

    Talk about May first:

    You may come if you wish? Why we didn't use be with may here?
    This coat may be David's? Why we used be with may here?
    How old may she be? Why we used be with may here?
    May you both be very happy. Why we used be here again?

    Now talk about Might:

    Might I suggest another time. Here are we talking about past? Why might came here and why be didn't come here?

    That might be our taxi.
    So is this sentence using past? and why it's not using be with it?

    He might just possible have lost his keys.
    So is this MIGHT talking about past here? and why it's not using be here?

    Please explain me all this. I'll be grateful to you.

    Regards,

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: When we use "BE" with "may" and "might"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Happpy View Post
    But I'm still unclear that why we use "be" with both may and might? What's "BE"? Why do we use it? Where it has it come from?

    Here are some examples:

    Talk about May first:

    You may come if you wish? Why we didn't we use be with may here?
    This coat may be David's? Why we used did we use be with may here?

    In the first sentence we are talking about
    coming (here):

    I wish to come.
    May I come?
    You may come if you wish (to come).


    in the second sentence we are talking about 'being (David's)':

    This coat is David's.
    Perhaps this coat is David's.
    This coat may be David's.

    The underlined forms are infinitives. May, and other modals, are always followed by the infinitive form of the verb.


    5

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: When we use "BE" with "may" and "might"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    They have almost the same meaning. One exception is that might is the past tense of may. So you have to use might when you are referring to the past. For example, even if it's likely that John worked yesterday you shouldn't say, John may have have worked; you should say, John might have worked yesterday.

    General rule -
    Use may when something has a good chance of happening - I may dance tonight.

    Use might when something does not have a good chance of happening - I might climb that mountain after work.
    Happy, this message may not help you, but it needs to be posted for others reading this thread.


    Gilnetter, the part I have highlighted in red is not exactly correct.

    In indirect speech may is back-shifted to might:

    Bill: "I may come tomorrow"
    Bill said that he might come the next day.

    If we are talking about a present possibility (in our minds) of a past event, we use may have:

    It is possible that Bill arrived yesterday.
    Bill may have arrived yesterday
    .

    When we are talking about a hypothetical/counterfactual past possibility, then we use might have:

    If the Japanese had not attacked Pearl Harbour, it is possible that the USA would not have entered the war against Germany.
    If the Japanese had not attacked Pearl Harbour, the USA might not have entered the war against Germany.
    Last edited by 5jj; 30-Nov-2010 at 12:22. Reason: typo

  5. #5
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    Default Re: When we use "BE" with "may" and "might"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    What you write is probably correct but my comments were guided by the OP -

    "When/where we use "BE" with "may" and "might"? I'm learning English Language, so please give me answer in easy English with examples as well."

    I attempted to keep my response as simple and direct as possible. I doubt if a novice learner could understand what a hypothetical/counterfactual past possibility is. As a rule I adhere to the KISS principal (Keep it simple, silly [or stupid]).
    I am very much in favour of KISSing, but 'Keep It Simple' does not mean giving incorrect information.

  6. #6
    Happpy is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: When we use "BE" with "may" and "might"?

    Sir, I'm quite understand what you said about may and might. Thanks for this. But please tell me what's "BE" actually? What does it mean? Why we use it? Where we use it with may and might both?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: When we use "BE" with "may" and "might"?

    I'm sorry, happy. That is far too big a question to answer in this thread.

    I think your problem may be that your concerns about BE when used with may and might have made you forget that you already use am, is, are, was, were, all parts of BE. You showed this when you wrote, "I'm learning English". Be is the infinitive form of this verb

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    seess is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: When we use "BE" with "may" and "might"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Happpy View Post
    Hello,

    When/whe we use "BE" with "may" and "might"? I'm learning English Language, so please give me answer in easy English with examples as well.


    Regards,
    hi
    may be or might be is used when you want to say something "perhaps is"
    e.g
    he may be 12 years old
    he is perhaps 12 years old.

  9. #9
    rajan is offline Member
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    Default Re: When we use "BE" with "may" and "might"?

    Hello Happy,

    I am not a teacher. However, I would like to address your problem:

    You will have to keep certain points in mind regarding BE.


    1) BE has several meanings like any other verb. see its meaning in Dictionary.com | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Dictionary.com

    2) BE represent a state. He is happy, he is better now, he is not feeling well.

    2) BE comes before adjectives, adverb and a noun also.

    He is happy (Adjectives), He is there (Adverb). He is a doctor. (Noun)

    3) BE equate the situation.

    eg. He is like a Monkey. He = Monkey

    4) BE basically a connector. It connects subject with the adjective, adverb and a noun.


    5) BE is the base form verb. when any tense comes, BE becomes is, am are, was, were, been according to the situation.

    6) In a sentence or a phrase only only finite verb comes, other becomes nonfinite.

    7) whenever model comes, base form of BE / any other verb will be used before adjective, adverb and before a noun

    Now in your examples,

    1) You may come as you wish.

    we did not use BE because like any other verb, BE is also a verb. Now here come is a verb, so there is no use of BE here. See point 7


    2) This coat may be David's

    In this sentence meainging of be is belongs to

    This coat may belong to David.

    We have used base form. After model base form comes.

    3) How old may she be.

    in this example, we are asking about age. Suppose she is 60 years. We are equating her age. Her age = 60 years. now model came in ur sentence, base form of be is used.

    I hope this help you to some extent.


    Quote Originally Posted by Happpy View Post
    First if all I'm very thankful to you Sir after giving answer to me after many days.

    OK Sir, I've understand that "might" uses for past and "may" uses for present. But I'm still unclear that why we use "be" with both may and might? What's "BE"? Why we use it? Where it has come from?

    Here are some examples:

    Talk about May first:

    You may come if you wish? Why we didn't use be with may here?
    This coat may be David's? Why we used be with may here?
    How old may she be? Why we used be with may here?
    May you both be very happy. Why we used be here again?

    Now talk about Might:

    Might I suggest another time. Here are we talking about past? Why might came here and why be didn't come here?

    That might be our taxi.
    So is this sentence using past? and why it's not using be with it?

    He might just possible have lost his keys.
    So is this MIGHT talking about past here? and why it's not using be here?

    Please explain me all this. I'll be grateful to you.

    Regards,
    Last edited by rajan; 15-Dec-2010 at 14:28.

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