Page 2 of 3 First 1 2 3 Last
Results 11 to 20 of 21
  1. #11
    Tarheel's Avatar
    Tarheel is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    22,207

    Re: something could/might happen

    Quote Originally Posted by NAL123 View Post
    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.
    Last edited by GoesStation; 22-Oct-2020 at 19:19. Reason: Add corrections to quote.
    Not a professional teacher

  2. #12
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    13,569

    Re: something could/might happen

    Quote Originally Posted by NAL123 View Post
    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. #13
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    13,569

    Re: something could/might happen

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    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. #14
    GoesStation is online now Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    21,213

    Re: something could/might happen

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    … 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.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. #15
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    13,569

    Re: something could/might happen

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    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. #16
    NAL123 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    238

    Re: something could/might happen

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    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. #17
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    13,569

    Re: something could/might happen

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

  8. #18
    NAL123 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    238

    Re: something could/might happen

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    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. #19
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    13,569

    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. #20
    NAL123 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    238

    Re: something could/might happen

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    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

Page 2 of 3 First 1 2 3 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •