Grammar Language

Difference Between May and Might

Difference Between May and Might

Summary: Difference Between May and Might is that May is used to express permission. May is also used to express possibility. Might is the past tense of May. Might shows less possibility than may.

Difference Between May and Might

 

May

May is used to express permission. May not is used to deny permission.

  • May I come in, sir?
  • Yes, you
  • May I go home now?
  • No, you may not.

Notes

Now-a-days to deny permission we often use cannot instead of may not. This usage is probably encouraged by the fact that the contraction can’t is easier to say than the contraction may not.

Possibility

May is also used to express possibility.

  • It may
  • She may
  • He may get good marks.

May is also used in expressing a wish.

  • May God bless you!
  • May his soul rest in peace!

May is used in subordinate clauses that express a purpose.

  • Farmers use fertilizers so that they may have a rich harvest.
  • We eat that we may

Might

Might is the past tense of May in indirect speech.

  • He said, ‘I may stand for election.’
  • He said that he might stand for election.
  • Alice said, ‘I may 
  • Alice said that she might

Might and may

Might shows less possibility than may.

Compare:

  • It may rain. (Maybe a 50% possibility)
  • It might rain. (Maybe a 30% possibility)

Notes

May and might are followed by an infinitive without to.

  • He may come. (NOT He may to come).
  • might pass.(NOT I might to pass).

Questions and negatives are made without do.

  • May I go? (NOT Do I may go?)

There is no -s in the third person singular.

  • She may pass. (NOT She may passes).

Also Read:

Difference Between Can and Could

 

Difference Between Lay and Lie

Difference Between Can and Be Able to

Difference Between Amiable and Amicable

Difference Between A and An