IELTS Grammar Lesson: May vs Might

May Might IELTS PTE Grammar.jpg

The sentence above refers to a possibility. Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

A lot of students confuse the usage of may and might. Let me clear the distinction between the two.

May is used to either ask for a permission or suggest the possibility of something. For instance: May I borrow your laptop? I may rain today.

Might, on the other hand, is used to refer to possibilities. The difference between may and might is that the latter is used to refer to smaller possibilities.

It may rain today. = There’s a possibility of rain.

It might rain today = There’s a small possibility of rain.

Please note that may have and might have are used to refer to the past as well.

There might have been some trouble, but I didn’t anticipate it.

Had it not been raining, I may have reached in time.

Had it not been raining, I might have reached in time.

When we are writing counterfactuals (something may/ might have happened), we prefer might over may. For instance, in the sentences above, “I might have reached in time” is a preferred construction.

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