Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: May/might

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Scotland
      • Current Location:
      • Scotland

    • Join Date: May 2009
    • Posts: 25
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    May/might


    Does it matter whether I say, "I may attend the seminar tonight" or "I might attend the seminar tonight"?

  1. mara_ce's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Argentina
      • Current Location:
      • Argentina

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 6,066
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: May/might

    Apparently might is less likely than may, and may is more common in formal language.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 21,610
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: May/might

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon..J View Post
    Does it matter whether I say, "I may attend the seminar tonight" or "I might attend the seminar tonight"?
    I'd say 'might' personally, but it wouldn't concern me if someone said 'may'.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 24,036
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: May/might

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon..J View Post
    Does it matter whether I say, "I may attend the seminar tonight" or "I might attend the seminar tonight"?
    Not at all.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Feb 2005
    • Posts: 2,585
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: May/might

    The tone of voice is quite important. Thus here, I would think the speakers in #1 and #3 more likely to attend than the speakers in #2 and #4.

    1. I might be going to the seminar tonight! [said in a pleased tone]
    2. I may go to the seminar tonight. [said doubtfully]
    3. I may be going to the seminar tonight! [said in a pleased tone]
    4. I might go to the seminar tonight. [said doubtfully]

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 21,610
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: May/might

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon..J View Post
    Does it matter whether I say, "I may attend the seminar tonight" or "I might attend the seminar tonight"?
    Of course there is the 'permissive' sense of 'may' and 'might'.

    "The professor said that I may attend the seminar tonight." In this context, it's a lot more common (at least where I come from) than:
    The professor said that I might attend the seminar tonight".

    Another meaning - suggestion:
    Professor: "You might turn up to seminars occasionally, Watkins" Not 'may'.

Similar Threads

  1. may/might and the modals - update
    By David L. in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Apr-2009, 23:47
  2. may/might go shopping
    By Tan Elaine in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 03-Mar-2009, 09:05
  3. can/could, will/would and may/might
    By miracleSky in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-Jul-2007, 17:17
  4. may/might and can/could
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Jun-2004, 13:11
  5. english grammar
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 17-Oct-2003, 15:27

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •