Uses of May and Might

May and Might Examples and Exercises

May as a principal verb is used to denote—

Permission, as,

May I go out? May I come in? Yes, you may.

May I borrow your toothbrush? No, you may not.

You may go now. [=You are permitted to go now.]

You may go out when you have finished your work.

He may go tomorrow.

If he wished he might go tomorrow.

If he-had wished he might have gone yesterday.

He may not go now. [=1 will not let him go now.]

Members may not [=are not permitted to] borrow from the library more than two books at a time.

He might not go tomorrow unless you wished.

He might enter the college next year.

Doubt, uncertainty; as,

He may arrive at the station in time if he hurries.

She may not have spoken the truth.

Possibility; as,

It may rain tonight. [=It is possible that it will rain tonight.]

It may be true. [It is possibly true.]

He may be away from home tomorrow.

He may come today.

She may pass if she works hard.

Kamla may win the first prize in English.

You may lead a horse to the water but you cannot make it drink.

If I ask her again, she may refuse.

I’m afraid that something serious may happen.

I was afraid that if I asked her again, she might refuse.

He might not have come even if we had asked him.

NOTE : In this case may is used in the affirmative but not in the nega­tive or interrogative.

May and might are used in questions.

May I trouble you to pass the salt?

Might I borrow your pen for a minute?

Might (but now may) is used to make requests.

You might make a little less noise. [= Please make a little less noise.] 3 May as an Auxiliary verb is used to express —

Uses of May and Might 1

  1. A wish; as,

May you have a happy and long life!

May God bless you!

Long may you live to enjoy it!

May fortune smile upon you!

May you have a good time!

  1. A purpose; as,

He works hard that he may become rich.

We eat that we may live.

He flatters that he may win favour.

They died that we might live.

I stepped aside so that she might go in.

We put up a fence so that the neighbours might not overlook us.

Might is sometimes used to express reproach —

You might tell me the truth.

You might have told me the truth.

Uses of May and Might 2

Anomalous Finites Exercises

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