may and might 1

You are currently viewing may and might 1
5
(1)

Study this example situation:

You are looking for Ben. Nobody is sure where he is, but you get some suggestions.

(= perhaps he is in his off ice)


(= perhaps he is having lunch)


(= perhaps she knows)

We use may or might to say that something is possible. You can use may or might:

  • It may be true. or It might be true. (= perhaps it is true)
  • She might know. or She may know.

The negative forms are may not and might not:

  • It may not be true. (= perhaps it isn’t true)
  • She might not know. (= perhaps she doesn’t know)

Note the diff erence between may be (2 words) and maybe (1 word):

  • It may be true. (may + verb)
  • ‘Is it true?’ ‘Maybe. I’m not sure.’ (maybe = it’s possible, perhaps)

For the past we use may have … or might have … :

  • a: I wonder why Kate didn’t answer her phone. b: She may have been asleep. (= perhaps she was asleep)
  • a: I can’t find my phone anywhere. b: You might have left it at work. (= perhaps you left it at work)
  • a: Why wasn’t Amy at the meeting yesterday? b: She might not have known about it. (= perhaps she didn’t know)
  • a: I wonder why David was in such a bad mood yesterday. b: He may not have been feeling well. (= perhaps he wasn’t feeling well)

could is similar to may and might:

  • It’s a strange story, but it could be true. (= it is possible that it’s true)
  • You could have left your phone at work. (= it’s possible that you left it there)

But couldn’t (negative) is diff erent from may not and might not. Compare:

  • Sarah couldn’t have received my message. Otherwise she would have replied. (= it is not possible that she got my message)
  • Why hasn’t Sarah replied to my message? I suppose she might not have received it. (= it’s possible that she didn’t receive it – perhaps she did, perhaps she didn’t)

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Leave a Reply