Hello James and Welcome!Originally Posted by dragontiger
May is a verb that we use when we wish to indicate that a possibility exists. In this case, there is a possibility that the man was rich. Perhaps the verb tenses are bothering you?
* He may have been rich. This means that there is a possibility that at one time the man was rich, though now he is not.
* It is possible that he was rich. Now, instead of using the verb "may", we have substituted the expression, "It is possible", which means the same thing. This sentence is also putting the state of being rich in the past, and excluding it from the present time.
So, I would say that the two sentences mean the same thing.
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