View Poll Results: He might have died in the accident.

Voters
1097. This poll is closed
  • This means he survived.

    393 35.82%
  • This means we don't know whether he is alive or dead.

    704 64.18%
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Thread: May\might

  1. #1
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default May\might


  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    He could have died = It was a possibility, but it didn't happen
    He might have died = We don't know what happened, but it is a possibility that he died

    (Perhaps it is an AE/BE difference, but I don't know.)

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I think it is, as I'd use them the other way around. I find it amazing just how many differences there are between the two.

  4. #4
    CitySpeak Guest

    Default Re: May\might

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol

    It can mean both. Only the context would tell which meaning it is.


    You might recall that I had some "might" ideas some time ago.



    8)

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    In BE, we tend to use it with a single meaning, though some would use it for both.

  6. #6
    CitySpeak Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    In BE, we tend to use it with a single meaning, though some would use it for both.

    I think, "He could have died in that accident." is the more common way of expressing such an idea. Though, I can still imagine "might" being used as well.


    he could have = but he didn't

  7. #7
    darren Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I think it is, as I'd use them the other way around. I find it amazing just how many differences there are between the two.
    Tdol teacher, I didn't get what you meant 'I'd use them the other way around'. Did you mean that the usage is opposite of AE in BE? Need further details.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    In BE, the following would be used:

    1- He might have died. (he survived an incident where there was a possiblility of dying)
    2- He may have died. (we don't know whether he has died or not- he's missing up a mountain in a storm, say.)

    However, the distinction is being eroded and many people now are using 'may' for the fisrt meaning.

  9. #9
    darren Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    In BE, the following would be used:

    1- He might have died. (he survived an incident where there was a possiblility of dying)
    2- He may have died. (we don't know whether he has died or not- he's missing up a mountain in a storm, say.)

    However, the distinction is being eroded and many people now are using 'may' for the fisrt meaning.
    Tdol teacher:
    He might have died (BE)=He could have died(AE)
    He may have died(BE)=He might have died(AE)
    I hope i got it right.Feel free to correct me if any.

  10. #10
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darren
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    In BE, the following would be used:

    1- He might have died. (he survived an incident where there was a possiblility of dying)
    2- He may have died. (we don't know whether he has died or not- he's missing up a mountain in a storm, say.)

    However, the distinction is being eroded and many people now are using 'may' for the fisrt meaning.
    Tdol teacher:
    He might have died (BE)=He could have died(AE)
    He may have died(BE)=He might have died(AE)
    I hope i got it right.Feel free to correct me if any.
    I think you have it right. I would say "He could have died to indicate that he survived a harrowing experience. I would say "He might have died" to indicate that I don't know the outcome.

    :)

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