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Thread: Modal verb May

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    binka Guest

    Smile Modal verb May

    Can you explain modal verb "may" as a word and its meaning in English language

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    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Modal verb May

    Even native English speakers often misuse "may."

    If you're asking to enter someone's house, the proper phrase would be "May I come in?" But many people say "Can I come in?" instead. The difference is "may" asks for the homeowner's permission. "Can I come in" is literally asking "do I have the physical ability to enter?"

    Another meaning of "may" is to express an uncertainty, or a possibility: "He may be angry with me, I'm not sure."
    Or the pilot of an airplane might say: "The weather looks cloudy over the Atlantic, we may run into some turbulance."

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