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  1. newkeenlearner's Avatar
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    #1

    "She may not have come/arrived yet."

    Hi.

    Person 1 :"Is Sarah here?' I can't see her."
    Person 2: "She may not have come or arrived yet."

    Person 1 :"I can't find Jeff anywhere."
    Person 2: "He might have gone shopping."


    Could you please tell me why the author used the past form of 'may' and 'might'? The person 1 is asking NOW, but the other person replied in the past.


    Person 1: I can't find my umbrella. Have you seen it?
    Person 2: It might be in the car or you might have left it in the restaurant.

    I wonder why the author use present and past in the example #3 while the person 1 asked question in present.


    It is a bit confusing.
    "She may not come or arrive yet." and "He might go shopping." are my choices.
    Last edited by newkeenlearner; 01-May-2017 at 18:37.

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    #2

    Re: "She may not have come/arrived yet."

    In the first exchange, Person 2 is referring to a possible event in the past that would explain the present situation.

    In the second exchange, Person 2 is also (It might be in the car) suggesting the umbrella's possible present location.

    (Your choices are not right at all.)

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    #3

    Re: "She may not have come/arrived yet."

    If you use "She may not come", it means you are suggesting an event in the future.
    However, you can't use "He might go shopping" in the second exchange because you can't find Jeff now so either he went shopping or went out for some other reason but it cannot be a suggestion for an event in the future.

  4. newkeenlearner's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "She may not have come/arrived yet."

    In the second exchange, Person 2 is also (It might be in the car) suggesting the umbrella's possible present location.
    thank you so much.
    What makes me more confused is that why in the following example, one possible suggestion is in present and another one is in past.
    What is the difference between leaving our umbrella in a car or in a restaurant? Maybe because car in our possession and restaurant is not. Otherwise, I can't figure it out the use of present and past for car and restaurant.
    However, the act if leaving the umbrella took place in the past.

    Person 1: I can't find my umbrella. Have you seen it?
    Person 2: It might be in the car or you might have left it in the restaurant.
    Last edited by newkeenlearner; 02-May-2017 at 10:31.

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    #5

    Re: "She may not have come/arrived yet."

    Quote Originally Posted by newkeenlearner View Post
    What is the difference between leaving our umbrella in a car or in a restaurant? Maybe because car in our possession and restaurant is not. Otherwise, I can't figure it out the use of present and past for car and restaurant.
    However, the act if leaving the umbrella took place in the past.

    Person 1: I can't find my umbrella. Have you seen it?
    Person 2: It might be in the car or you might have left it in the restaurant.
    It's a matter of timing. From this short dialog I would understand the speaker and their companion to have recently returned from the restaurant by car.
    I am not a teacher.

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