May / Might

May & Might


May (more formal than ‚can‘)

To give permission: (I say that you are allowed to….)

You may go home early today.

She may visit you tonight.

You may not go clubbing this weekend.

He may park his car here.

We may take our holiday in June.

They may not play football this Sunday.


May I go to the cinema on Friday night? Yes, you may. No, you may not.

May we go camping next weekend? Yes, you may. No, you may not.


Used in conditionals:

If you asked him to call you back he might do it.

If she was invited to the party, she might arrive later.

If he tells me about the problem, I might sort it out for him.

Used in indirect speech:

He said he might go on holiday to Brazil.

She mentioned she might change her job soon.

They told me they might try for a baby next year.

My GP (doctor) told me I might die of cancer if I don’t quit smoking.

May/Might for present and future possibility

Might increases the doubt.

I may go to the university next year. (thinking about it)

I might study law. (not sure about what to study)

He may/might be waiting for us at the other exit.

She may/might apply for that job.

They may/might not believe our story. (perhaps they won’t)

We may/might not arrive on time. (perhaps we’ll be late)

Live your life to the full! You might day tomorrow. (not likely to happen but you never know…)

May/ Might

For speculations about past actions

Usually use with present perfect tense

I don’t know where he is now. He may/might got lost on his way here.

He may/might have prepared the presentation for the board of trustees last weekend.

(I don’t know if it’s ready)

She may/might have gone shopping for what I know. (don’t know and don’t care)


In conditionals

If you have called me last night, I might have told you about the problem.

If she left him, she might have a better life (not certainty)

If we had booked our holiday last week, we might have got a lower price.

If they had given their employees a pay rise, the workers might have stayed on.

When main verb in past

He said he might leave early yesterday.

You told me you might lend lend me your car next weekend.

She thought she might get away with it.

We told him that he might borrow our cottage for the romantic weekend.



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