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Thread: may or might ?

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 1

    may or might ?

    when should we use may and when might?

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059

    Re: may or might ?

    Quote Originally Posted by linda askew View Post
    when should we use may and when might?
    That's quite an expansive issue, Linda. Basically, 'might' is a weaker modal in epistemic uses [level of certainty] and in deontic uses [social].

    "I might go"/"It might rain" both show a weaker level of certainty than "I may go"/"It may rain".

    Because 'might' is weaker epistemically, it is also used, though it's not overly common, as a softer form of politeness, a deontic use.

    Might I borrow a pen?

    See the thread "Modals of Speculation" for a more complete discussion.


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