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  1. #1
    leolyy is offline Junior Member
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    Default dismayed to the word "may"

    To all the kink teachers who would help me with my problem:

    Please look at this sentence: "From the brief information you have provided, this office may assess your case." I just dont know the exact meaning of "may", does it mean "possibly can" or just "can", or something else?

    So, it seems that something around you appears to be too simple to master:)

    Thanks
    leo

  2. #2
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    Default Re: dismayed to the word "may"

    may expresses (a) a possibility or (b) permission, not both. Given the context you provided, here are the two possible readings:

    [1] This office has permission to assess your case.
    [2] This office might assess your case.

    Welcome, leolyy.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: dismayed to the word "may"

    By the way, I'm laughing at the idea that I am a "kink teacher". It's obviously just a typing mistake, so don't worry about it, but it is an interesting idea. It sounds as if we all teach... er, very strange things... things that are more interesting than teaching English.

    It's funny how one single typing error can brighten my day and make me feel glad to be alive. Thank you for that.

  4. #4
    leolyy is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: dismayed to the word "may"

    Thanks Casiopea for your explanation.

    I'm a little confused now. As you have listed, it seems that the real meaning of certain words cannot be determined effectively. If so, could you tell which of the two is more close to its real meaning? What's the exact meaning of "might" you mentioned?

    By the way, thanks for the interpretation and deduction of rawboss!

    leo

  5. #5
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    Default Re: dismayed to the word "may"

    You're welcome, leolyy.

    "From the brief information you have provided, this office may assess your case."

    Quote Originally Posted by leolyy
    . . . could you tell which of the two is more close to its real meaning?
    Without additional context, I'd choose the default reading, "may~might", which indicates a possibility or likelihood:

    Even though the information you've provided our office with is brief, it's enough for us to be able to assess your case. That is, it's likely or possible.

    Note, "kink" is a noun meaning, a sharp twist as in, there's a kink in the rope, its shape/behavior is unconventional - maverick, going against the norm, if you will. It's obvious you intended to type "kind teachers", words for which we are grateful and thank you for your kindness, but in all honesty, 'kink teachers' has an even better great ring to it. I prefer the typo.

  6. #6
    smelvanzq is offline Member
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    Default Re: dismayed to the word "may"

    hello! im just wondering, is'nt it correct if yeolly would say " to all kind teacher who will help me

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    Default Re: dismayed to the word "may"

    There are two readings:

    [1] To all the kind teachers who would (be so kind as to) help me with my problem.

    [2] To all the kind teachers who would (be willing to take the time) to help me with my problem.

    The reading with "will" isn't as polite. It expresses a command, a demand:

    [3] To all the kind teachers who will help me with my problem.
    => You will help me!

    Try,

    [4] To all the kind teachers who are willing to help me with my problem.

    All the best.
    P.S. How'd the link on "rather" work out?

  8. #8
    leolyy is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: dismayed to the word "may"

    Thanks again to Casiopea

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Without additional context, I'd choose the default reading, "may~might", which indicates a possibility or likelihood:

    Even though the information you've provided our office with is brief, it's enough for us to be able to assess your case. That is, it's likely or possible.
    to be able to is a kind of expression of ability and definitive declaration, I think, not "possibility or likelihood", right? Actually I like your last interpretation which I just expect it to be:)

    Besides, I've sent another mail to the office and unfortunately got another similar response: "You may apply for engineering technologist first, and leave it to the assessor to make a final decision." In which I think the "may" means "be permitted to", not "possibly can", right? Is it uncertain?

    leo

  9. #9
    leolyy is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: dismayed to the word "may"

    As a matter of fact, I typed "will" first without the knowledge of its implication of demand or obligation, and then I changed it to "would" as I thought that since no one had actually decided to help me before I posted it on, "the subjunctive mood" should be used here:)

    Again thanks Casiopea for his mini lesson of the comparison between "will" and "would" which adds a colored stroke to my english knowledge gallery.

    leo

  10. #10
    smelvanzq is offline Member
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    Default Re: dismayed to the word "may"

    Shucks! I might have been Using wrong words before when asking ! I shouls be careful now..
    I'm really a beginner! Thanks also to all

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