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

Section: 

Comments

Hi!
Please, I want to know if the following are correct:
1. Might you have been learning English by June next year?
2. You might have been learning English by June next year.

Hello judeee,

The sentences are grammatically correct, but I can't imagine a context in which they would make sense. In fact as the sentences have no context it's not clear to me what you are trying to say here.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Situation: I am telling someone about the disease.
The disease is passive right now but it may/might get active in future (or the future)

Hello Asgharkhan8,

I'm not sure what your question is here. If you could you be clearer about it then we'll try to help.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Could you please differentiate them?
He may be call me tomorrow.
He may call me tomorrow.
He may be calling me tomorrow.

Hello Asgharkhan8,

The first sentence is not grammatically correct.

The second sentence tells us that there is a chance that he will call but that it is not certain.

The third sentence is similar but we it describes the call as something which might be already arranged. Effectively it means 'he might already have the call planned'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Jack may be coming to see us tomorrow.
I might see you tomorrow.
From the above examples could you explain the difference between May and Might.

Hello jackon1992,

When used to describe something which is possible but not certain there is no real difference between may and might. They can be used interchangeably in these sentences.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hi i have question. could you explain between able to and can/could?

Hello hreker,

'can' can be used to refer to the present and future and 'could' to the past, but there are other tenses (e.g. the present perfect) where 'can/could' has no form. In these cases, you can use 'be able to'. There's a good explanation of this on this page in the Cambridge Dictionary – be sure to scroll down the page to where it says 'Be able to'. I think that should clarify this for you, but if not, please don't hesitate to ask us any specific questions you may have.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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