May / might

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May / might

Post  Code Maestro on Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:33 am

mayWe can use 'may' to ask for permission. However this is rather formal and not used very often in modern spoken English
  • May I borrow your pen?
  • May we think about it?
  • May I go now?

We use 'may' to suggest something is possible
  • It may rain later today.
  • I may not have time to do it today.
  • Pete may come with us

mightWe use 'might' to suggest a small possibility of something. Often we read that 'might' suggests a smaller possibility that 'may', there is in fact little difference and 'might is more usual than 'may' in spoken English.
  • She might be at home by now but it's not sure at all.
  • It might rain this afternoon.
  • I might not have time to go to the shops for you.
  • I might not go.

For the past, we use 'might have'.
  • He might have tried to call while I was out.
  • I might have dropped it in the street.


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