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English Grammar in Use – Unit 30: “May” and “Might” (2)

Part A:

We use may and might to talk about possible actions or happenings in the future:
I haven’t decided yet where to go on holiday. I may go to Ireland. (= I will go there)
Take an umbrella with you. It might rain later. (= perhaps it will rain)
The bus isn’t always on time. We might have to wait a few minutes. (=perhaps we will have to wait)
The negative forms are may not and might not (mightn’t):
Amy may not go out tonight. She isn’t feeling well. (=perhaps she will not go out)
There might not be enough time to discuss everything at the meeting. (=perhaps there will not be enough time)
Compare will and may/might:
I’ll be late this evening. (for sure)
I may/might be late this evening. (possible)


Part B:

Usually you can use may or might. So you can say:
I may go to Ireland . or I might go to Ireland.
Jane might be able to help you. or Jane may be able to help you.
But we use only might (not may) when the situation is not real:
If they paid me better, I might work harder. (not I may work)
The situation here is not real because they do not pay me well, so I’m not going to work harder.


Part C:

There is a continuous form: may/might be -ing. Compare this with will be-ing:
Don’t phone at 8.30. I’ll be watching the football on television.
Don’t phone at 8.30. I might be watching (or I may be watching) the football on TV.
(=perhaps I’ll be watching it)
We also use may/might be -ing for possible plans. Compare:
I’m going to Ireland in July. (for sure)
I might be going (or I may be going) to Ireland soon. (possible)
But you can also say I might go / I may go … ‘ with little difference in meaning.


Part D:

Helen and Clare have just missed the bus. The buses run every hour.

What shall we do? Shall we walk?

We might as well. it’s a nice day and I don’t want to wait here for an hour.

We might as well do something= We should do it because there is no better alternative. There is no reason not to do it.
is also possible.
A: What time are you going out?
Well, I’m ready, so I might as well go now.
Buses are so expensive these days, you might as well get a taxi. (=taxis are as good, no more expensive)

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Sasan 1 hour, 59 minutes ago.

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  • #40593

    Dr. Hariri

    Would you rather be happy yet slow-witted and unimaginative, or unhappy yet bright and creative? For instance, would you rather live the life of a brilliant yet tortured artist, such as Vincent van Gogh, or that of a happy but carefree soul who is a bit simple-minded?

  • #40672


    I prefer to challenge this question at first and bring up my viewpoint next.
    There are different successful people in the world who reached the apex through different procedures. Although some have faced torture to reach their goals, it does not mean we have to necessarily lose something in our life to climb the ladder of success. Anyway, I suppose the most enjoyable part of life is making progress and relying on your abilities to flourish and thrive. So, I personally go for intelligence and innovation rather than happiness along with naivety. Many people have lived an ordinary life so far and repeating this story can never excite me at all. We need to gain new adventurous experiences and foster our abilities so as to break out of comfort zone.

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