May and Might – modal verbs in English

May and Might are modal verbs.

When to use may and might?

  • We use may and might to say something is possible in the present or the future.  Perhaps id is true, will be true or will happen.
  • We use may to ask for permissions. It is more polite than using Can or Could.
  • To talk about present or future possibility
  • We also use may to give permission.
  • We don’t use Might to give permission.
  • We can use MAY To express wishes.


May and might can normally be interchanged without a significant difference in meaning.

You can say: I may leave. Or I might leave.

Study the difference about may and might

  • I’m playing tennis tomorrow. (sure)
  • I might play tennis tomorrow. (possible)
  • Rebecca is going to phone later. (sure)
  • Rebecca might phone later. (possible)

Affirmative form may and might

Subject + may or might + main verb without “s” + complement.

May and Might Examples:

  • There is someone at the door, It may be Sally. (Perhaps it is Sally).
  • Athlete Jones might win the race. (Perhaps he will win the race).
  • Buy a lottery ticket. You might be lucky. (= perhaps you will be lucky)
  • I might go to the party this evening, but I’m not sure. (= it is possible that I will go).
  • It might snow today.
  • I might watch next lesson.
  • Sally might forget to phone.
  • It may snow this weekend.
  • I might play tennis tomorrow.
  • Take your coat. It may rain later.
  • I may go to the cinema this evening.
  • I might see my parents tomorrow.
  • We might go out tomorrow evening.
  • My brother might get up early.
  • I might buy some new clothes.
  • I might go out with some friends.
  • I might have an egg for breakfast.
  • She may be Tom’s sister. she looks like him.
  • Sarah might phone me this afternoon.
  • Take an umbrella with you. It might rain.
  • The experts say the climate get warmer.
  • That may be Emma’s notebook but I’m not sure.
  • Olivia didn’t come to class today, she may be ill.
  • He may be a teacher. I know he has long holidays.
  • I might go to the football match, but I don’t know yet.
  • She may be a model, but I don’t think so. She’s not really tall enough.
  • That information might be correct but I’m going to check on the internet.

Negative Form

Subject + may not or might not + main verb + complement.

We use may not or might not, to say it is possible that an action or event will not happen now or in the future.

May and Might Negative Examples:

  • I might not go to work tomorrow. (= it is possible that I will not go).
  • Hajar might not come to the party. (= it is possible that she will not come).
  • Simon may not be in the living-room.
  • John might not be here next week.
  • My friend may not have a computer.
  • She might not work here any more.
  • Don’t worry, it may not ever happen.
  • I might not have time to go out.
  • We may not go to the party.
  • My parents may not be here.
  • We may not stay at home.
  • Ava may not come with us.

Polite permissions using may and might

May I + main verb + complement + question mark.

Polite permissions Examples with May and Might

  • May I speak to Mr. Jones, please?
  • May I have your phone number?
  • May I leave early today sir?
  • May I ask a question?
  • May I help you?
  • May I come in?
  • May I sit here?

Question form may and might

  • Where are you going for your holidays?
    I may go to Brazil.
  • What are you doing at the weekend?
    I might visit my sister.
  • When will you see Ella again?
    I may see her on Monday.
  • What are you going to have for dinner?
    I may have chicken.
  • How are you going to get home tonight?
    I may take a taxi.
  • Where is Amelia?
    Ask Ann. She might know.
  • Where is Sophia?
    She may in her office.
  • Why didn’t Camila answer her phone?
    She may have been asleep.
  • What are you doing at the weekend?
    I don’t know. I might go away.
  • When will you see your parents again?
    I’m not sure. I might see them on Monday.
  • What are you going to have for dinner?
    I don’t know. I might have fish.
  • How are you going to get home tonight?
    I’m not sure. I might take a taxi.
  • Why wasn’t Amy at the meeting yesterday?
    She might not have known about it.

Article about may and might

This article is from Grammar practice pre-intermediate Book. Page 77

Hi, Kathy!
Thanks for your e-mail. You asked us what our plans are for the summer. Well, Connie could go to England to work, like she did last year. Jon says he might do something different this summer. He wants to go to India, so he may work. for a few weeks or he might not have enough money. I don’t want to work in the family hotel again. I’d like a change. I might ask my parents for the money to come to Florida, so it may not be long before I see you again. I could meet your family. What do you think? Write soon!

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