Easy Learning English

May and might - Easy Learning Grammar

Both may and might can be used in requests and in expressions of possibility for the present and future.
  • Might I ask you your name?
  • The weather may/might be better tomorrow.
  • Craig may/might know his results soon.
  • We may/might go to the cinema tonight.
  • May I come with you?’ Nicky asked.
  • Nicky asked if she could come with them.
May and might are used as follows:
  • May is used to ask permission in a more formal way than can.
  • May I have a drink, please?
  • May I use your ruler? I’ve lost mine.
Might is occasionally used in formal situations.
  • Might I suggest a different solution?
  • May is used to give permission, particularly when applied to you, he, she, they or a proper noun, to show that the speaker is allowing something to happen.
  • You may go now.
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  • Both may and might are used to express the possibility of some future action; might is more tentative than may.
  • The weather may/might be better tomorrow.
  • Craig may/might know his results soon.
  • We may/might go to the cinema tonight.
  • May is often used for politeness, to make an order appear as a request; might is used to make the speaker more remote from the request.
  • You might give that idea a bit more consideration.
  • You might want to move a bit closer to the screen.
  • Might is occasionally used when someone is trying to persuade another person to do something, perhaps with some degree of irritation. This use is a little old-fashioned.
  • You might give me some cake too, Lucy.
  • Anna, come on, you might tell me what he said!
  • When might is used in a conditional sentence, the if clause can be in the present or the past tense. Compare with could. See Can and could.
  • If Louisa comes, she might look after the children.
  • If Louisa came, she might look after the children.
When changing sentences from direct to reported speech may usually becomes could.
  • May I come with you?’ Nicky asked.
  • Nicky asked if she could come with them.
may
The contracted negative form is:none or mayn’t (rare).
might
The contracted negative form is:mightn’t.
  • He mightn’t have enough money.
  • We might come and live here, mightn’t we, mum?

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