may, might, may have and might have

 

Questions and negatives:

We make questions by putting the subject after may/might:
May I …? Could I … Might I …? Etc.

The negative forms are may not and might not..

We use may:

  • when we are not sure about something:

Jack may be coming to see us tomorrow.
Oh dear! It’s half past ten. We may be late for the meeting.
There may not be very many people there.

  • to make polite requests:

May I borrow the car tomorrow?
May we come a bit later?

When we use may not for a refusal it is emphatic:

You may not!
You may not borrow the car until you can be more careful with it.

We use might:

• when we are not sure about something:

I might see you tomorrow.
It looks nice, but it might be very expensive.
It’s quite bright. It might not rain today.

• As the past tense of may for requests:

He asked if he might borrow the car.
They wanted to know if they might come later.

• For very polite requests:

Might I ask you a question?
Might we just interrupt for a moment?

We use may have and might have to show that something has possibly happened now or happened at some time in the past:

It’s ten o’clock. They might have arrived now.[= Perhaps they have arrived]
They may have arrived hours ago. [= Perhaps they arrived hours ago.]

 

Exercise

Comments

when we use this phrase "To be"?
What comes to our mind when we use it?

An example - It has to be done.

I know it is a passive voice, but I still cannot make the sense why I am using the phrase "To be".

Hello Rox4090,

This is an example of a passive infinitive:

I have to do it. [infinitive]

It has to be done. [passive infinitive]

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I understand your point, and lets check my understanding although it is a simple topic.

Example: Everyone has to shut this door all the time. [infinitive]

This door has to be shut all the time.[ passive infinitive]

Hello Rox4090,

Yes, that is correct. However, note that in your second sentence 'shut' can also be an adjective and the phrase 'all the time' makes this the most likely alternative. If you rephrase the sentence it makes the passive clearer:

This door has to be shut by all who enter.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear sir,
What would you say in English :
He may not have remembered the date.
or rather
He may have not remembered the date.
Thanks!

Hello Fallvn,

Both forms are used, but the first one ('may not have remembered') is the one I'd recommend you use.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

dear sir,

he must have called but i may have missed as is manytimes.

is this a correct sentence ?

Hello bunts,

The first part is correct except for the verb 'may have missed' needing an object (e.g. 'it' or 'his call'), but 'as is manytimes' is not standard UK or American English. I don't think I've ever heard the word 'manytimes' and didn't find it in any of my dictionaries.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

dear sir,

so the correct sentence would be like this:

he must have called but i may have missed it as is mostly.

can you please reconstruct and give the correct sentence?

Hello bunts,

When you say 'as is mostly', are you saying that you missing his call happens often? If so, I'd recommend something like 'He must have called but I may have missed it, as often happens' or 'He must have called, but as often happens, I may have missed it'.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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