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  1. ainykhan
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    #1

    Question may/might

    i always confuse when i use may or might.
    please tell me the correct usage and where.thanks

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: may/might

    Quote Originally Posted by ainykhan View Post
    i always confuse when i use may or might.
    please tell me the correct usage and where.thanks
    May = given permission to....

    May I leave the room?
    May I have more wine, please?
    If you have finished your food, you may leave the table.

    Might = possibility

    I might go to America this year.
    He might go to the park this afternoon.
    Do you think they might get divorced?

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: may/might

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    May = given permission to....

    May I leave the room?
    May I have more wine, please?
    If you have finished your food, you may leave the table.

    Might = possibility

    I might go to America this year.
    He might go to the park this afternoon.
    Do you think they might get divorced?
    Yes, but also "I may go to America this year" could mean the same as "I might..."

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    #4

    Exclamation Re: may/might

    Quote Originally Posted by ainykhan View Post
    i always confuse when i use may or might.
    please tell me the correct usage and where.thanks

    We usually use may when the outcome is likely and might when the outcome is less likely or uncertain. If you aren't sure whether you'll go to America this year and you say,
    "We may not go to America this year," it can be misinterpreted to mean you don't have Visa (permission) or the required passport to go to America.
    But if you say, “We might not go to America this year," then your meaning ( not certain) is clear.

    We also use might for everything in the past tense. For example, even if it's likely that Susan went to a party last night, Someone shouldn't say, “Susan may have gone to the party last night.” he should say, “Susan might have gone to the party last night

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    #5

    Re: may/might

    Quote Originally Posted by sarat_106 View Post
    We usually use may when the outcome is likely and might when the outcome is less likely or uncertain. If you aren't sure whether you'll go to America this year and you say,
    "We may not go to America this year," it can be misinterpreted to mean you don't have Visa (permission) or the required passport to go to America.
    But if you say, “We might not go to America this year," then your meaning ( not certain) is clear.

    We also use might for everything in the past tense. For example, even if it's likely that Susan went to a party last night, Someone shouldn't say, “Susan may have gone to the party last night.” he should say, “Susan might have gone to the party last night
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, sir.

    (1) I always read your posts carefully, for I always learn so much from your explanations.

    (2) May I respectfully address your statement that "We also use MIGHT for everything in the past tense."

    (3) According to Professor John Honey in his controversial 1997 book LANGUAGE IS POWER (in which he opines that students should be taught standard English and that all varieties of English are not equal), he reminds us that native speakers misuse may/might have + past participle.

    (4) As you so rightly pointed out, many people use "may" when they should use "might."

    (5) Nevertheless, the good professor says that:

    might have + pp = could have happened but did not. (If a central European bank had existed, a crisis might have been avoided.)

    may have + pp = could have happened but we DON'T KNOW YET.

    TOM: That was a great party last night! By the way, was Susan there? There were so many people there that I didn't notice.

    MARTHA: I have no idea. For all I know, she may have been there. I was too drunk to notice.

    Thank you.

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