1. ## Re: something could/might happen

Originally Posted by NAL123
Two weeks before the final, when Tim, Chris and Zoe were a long way ahead of the rest of the field, could any one of them have said, "Any one of us could win this!"? Or would it have had to be, "Any one of us might win this!"?
If you are talking about the three who still had a reasonable chance to win the tournament, either one is possible.

2. ## Re: something could/might happen

Originally Posted by NAL123
What's the difference between "something could happen" and "something might happen"?
This must be about the third or fourth time you've asked us in recent threads about the difference between could and might. Were you not convinced by our previous answers, or did you just not understand them?

3. ## Re: something could/might happen

Originally Posted by emsr2d2
As far as my attempt at an explanation goes, here's the first context that sprang to my mind. In June of this year, my tennis club organised a singles tournament. I entered it. At the start of week 1, anyone could win. We all had zero points and hadn't played any matches yet. By the time we were two weeks away from the final, three people were a long way ahead of the rest of the field (Tim, Chris and Zoe). At that point, all three of them could have said "I really might win this tournament!" The rest of us knew we no longer had a chance.
This example is a very good illustration of how I too understand the difference. In my language (which I've used in NAL123's threads about this before), saying that 'anyone could win' is a way to express a theoretical possibility, whereas saying that 'you might win' is a way of expressing a real possibility.

NAL123 has to try to understand these two very different kinds of possibility.

4. ## Re: something could/might happen

Originally Posted by jutfrank
… saying that 'you might win' is a way of expressing a real possibility.
That's generally true, but if "might" is strongly emphasized in speech, it means the opposite: it's not impossible, but very unlikely.

5. ## Re: something could/might happen

Originally Posted by GoesStation
if "might" is strongly emphasized in speech, it means the opposite: it's not impossible, but very unlikely.
Yes, it's very unlikely but still 'real' in the sense that I'm using the word 'real'. I mean that it's not just a theoretical possibility.

6. ## Re: something could/might happen

Originally Posted by jutfrank
Yes, it's very unlikely but still 'real' in the sense that I'm using the word 'real'. I mean that it's not just a theoretical possibility.
But "might" could be a theoretical possibility (an idea) in another context, right?

7. ## Re: something could/might happen

Originally Posted by NAL123
But "might" could be a theoretical possibility (an idea) in another context, right?
For example?

8. ## Re: something could/might happen

Originally Posted by jutfrank
For example?
1) Your child might do better with a different teacher.

2) He is the type of person who might appear in a fashion magazine.

3) The experience was, you might say, a glimpse into the future.

4) You might think he would try to run away, but this is Hollywood and he comes up with a different plan.

9. ## Re: something could/might happen

1) No, this is clearly intended to be real. The interpretation is that someone is talking about a real possibility for the child.

2) I think this could be both but it's most likely that the speaker is thinking hypothetically. That is, he's not really ever going to appear in a fashion magazine, but given his good looks, it's at least imaginable.

3) Forget about this example. It is not meant to express a real possibility, no, but it's best treated as a fixed expression (you might say), with a specific use.

4) Again, I'd advise you to ignore this example. You should treat this as part of the idiomatic expression You might think. It's not particularly helpful to analyse the parts of fixed expressions.

10. ## Re: something could/might happen

Originally Posted by jutfrank
1) No, this is clearly intended to be real. The interpretation is that someone is talking about a real possibility for the child.

2) I think this could be both but it's most likely that the speaker is thinking hypothetically. That is, he's not really ever going to appear in a fashion magazine, but given his good looks, it's at least imaginable.

3) Forget about this example. It is not meant to express a real possibility, no, but it's best treated as a fixed expression (you might say), with a specific use.

4) Again, I'd advise you to ignore this example. You should treat this as part of the idiomatic expression You might think. It's not particularly helpful to analyse the parts of fixed expressions.
Is "I might think" a fixed expression too?

The episode also seemed to exemplify a sense that female anger no longer had the place in the mainstream that it had during the 1990s, when Clarkson was growing up listening to Alanis Morissette; she feels this is changing, raving about both Adele and country singer-songwriter Miranda Lambert's latest Pistol Annies project. "I looooove Pistol Annies!" she gushes. "Anything to do with harmonies, I love, and how bare is that production? Miranda is one of my favourites. Have I thought about collaborating with her? Uhhh – I might think about it every day! I run into her all the time and I swear to God she thinks I'm stalking her and she hates me.

Here are other examples of it: https://ludwig.guru/s/I+might+think

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