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    #1

    Might vs. May

    Hello buddies,
    Does "Might and May" have differences or doesn't? (modal)
    Please tell me just short answer =) Thanks.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Might vs. May

    The short answer is: some people think 'might' expresses less likelihood than 'may', some feel no difference between them, and some never use 'may' at all.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Might vs. May

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    The short answer is: some people think 'might' expresses less likelihood than 'may', some feel no difference between them, and some never use 'may' at all.
    (Brevity is the soul of over-simplification )

    b

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    #4

    Re: Might vs. May

    [QUOTE=JustAlilBit;837716]
    Does "Might and May" have differences or doesn't?


    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) Sometimes Americans use "might" when they do not want to say "No."

    (a) If someone whom you do not like invites you to a party, you could reply:

    (i) No, I do not want to come.

    (ii) Oh, I might. It depends on my schedule. (It is a nice little lie -- in order not

    to hurt other people's feelings. Nice people do not hurt other people's feelings on

    purpose. I have read that in some cultures, people almost never say "No." They find other ways to express the idea.)


    (2) For example, if someone asks me whether I am going to vote for Mr. ___

    in our presidential election next November, I shall reply: Oh, I might. I have

    to study the issues first. (Secretly, however, I have already decided not to vote for

    him.)

  3. Calis's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Might vs. May

    I would use "may" to give permission and to state the possibility of something happening, and might" just to state possibility.

    "It may happen"
    "You may go with him"
    "It might happen"


    [Not a teacher]

  4. AlexAD's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Might vs. May

    Not a teacher, nor a native.
    Very nice reply by 5jj, I liked it :)
    Have never heard of anybody saying like 'Might I ask you something' (but heard that with may).

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Might vs. May

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexAD View Post
    Not a teacher, nor a native.
    Very nice reply by 5jj, I liked it :)
    Have never heard of anybody saying like 'Might I ask you something' (but heard that with may).
    "Might I ask...?" is possible. It's formal and not common but you will come across it.

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Might vs. May

    Quote Originally Posted by Calis View Post
    I would use "may" to give permission and to state the possibility of something happening, and might" just to state possibility.

    "It may happen" ....."You may go with him"....."It might happen".
    Many who use 'may' for permission and/or for possibility, backshift it to 'might' in reported speech:

    "May I smoke?": - He asked if he might smoke.
    "I may see you tomorrow." - She said she might see me the next day.

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