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    #1

    may & possibly in one company

    Somewhen somewhere I met 'It may possibly rain today'. What is the sense to mention possibilty twice?

  1. JohnParis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: may & possibly in one company

    Well, "it sounds nice" might be one answer but, grammatically it doesn't make much sense.
    Weather forecasts are notorious for hacking up the language. Don't look for good grammar there.

    edit: Although I have not heard may described as a "helping verb" this certainly does not mean that it isn't one. I've always considered may as a modal verb (according to the Oxford Dictionary). But, the original question here was the use of "may possibly" in the same sentence and, as Susieqd says, the idea is OK.

    John
    Last edited by JohnParis; 09-Nov-2011 at 13:59.

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    #3

    Re: may & possibly in one company

    "may" is a helping verb.

    The idea is OK, though.

    It could possibly rain today, so take your umbrella.

    It might rain today. Let's take a cab.

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    #4

    Re: may & possibly in one company

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    Somewhen somewhere I met 'It may possibly rain today'. What is the sense to mention possibilty twice?

    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) Great question. It seems to make the statement more emphatic, don't you think?

    (2) "It may/might rain today" seems less "possible" and "weaker" than:

    "I know that the weather forecast was wrong yesterday (it did not rain), but I

    have been looking at the sky, and I think that it may possibly (actually) rain today,

    so you had better take your umbrella."

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: may & possibly in one company

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnParis View Post
    edit: Although I have not heard may described as a "helping verb" this certainly does not mean that it isn't one. I've always considered may as a modal verb (according to the Oxford Dictionary).
    I follow Quirk et al, and others, in considering that there are two types of auxiliary (or 'helping', if you like) verbs: The primary auxiliary verbs, BE,HAVE, DO, and the modal auxiliary verbs (or just 'modals'), can, could, may, etc.

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    #6

    Re: may & possibly in one company

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) Great question. It seems to make the statement more emphatic, don't you think?
    I think a lot would depend on the intonation. In a weather forecast, I think I would agree with you, but in BrE, if people say It maaay possibly rain, I would take that as a lower possibility- somewhere between may and might.

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