May and Might Examples and Exercises
May as a principal verb is used to denote—
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.
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 —
- 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!
- 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.