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Hi, everyone. Hoje eu falo sobre as diferenças (ou seria ‘similaridades’?) entre may e might. Esse episódio é a parte 1 do assunto, que continua com mais um episódio em algumas semanas. :)
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This episode is part 1 of a two-part series about MAY and MIGHT. Trust me, it’s not a complicated topic – you’ll see. However I try to keep every episode under five minutes, so I’m guessing I’ll have two episodes to cover all the examples of may and might I wanna give you. So this is part 1, and part 2 is coming up in a few weeks.
OK – let’s talk about the basic differences between MAY and MIGHT. Actually I should say… Let’s talk about all the similarities between MAY and MIGHT, since, as it turns out, these are more frequent than the differences. My hope for this episode is that it helps dispel the myth that there are rigid rules about the usage of one or the other – most of the time, there aren’t. So just relax and give this episode a good listen.
Fist off, both may and might are very common when we talk about possibility. If you come to London I will tell you that you might have a hard time getting on the tube after midnight. That’s because most tube stations close around thirty minutes after midnight. You might have a hard time, but it is possible to get on the tube after midnight. And I could also have told you “You may have a hard time getting on the tube after midnight.”
And what would be the difference in that case? Well, you will find that some people think that it’s better to use might when something is less likely, and may when something is a bit more likely… I’ll admit that that’s how I do it, and that’s the general feeling I get from listening to English. If you have a different experience in your contact with native English, please let me know in the comments. So I, in particular, would say “You may have a hard time…” if I thought that would be more likely to happen.
Now, here’s what I really want you to pay attention to: is that a rule? Would one or the other significantly change the meaning of what I’m saying? The answer is “No.” Some grammar books state that may means a stronger possibility than might; and by the same token, other people, including teachers, think that this is a very flexible “rule.”
So here are other things I could say using may and might interchangeably: I may go to the party – I’m not sure yet. We might swing by after dinner. Jane may call you about the report… She seems to be unclear on a few numbers. My friends might enjoy this restaurant. I may go to the gym on Sunday but I’m not sure yet. So just for the sake of being very clear, here are the same examples with the other word: I might go to the party – I’m not sure yet. We may swing by after dinner. Jane might call you about the report… She seems to be unclear on a few numbers. My friends may enjoy this restaurant. I might go to the gym on Sunday but I’m not sure yet.
When talking about present and future possibilities in life – such as illustrated in the examples, use may or might fearlessly. In part 2 I’ll explore slightly different situations and we’ll see what works best with each one of them. Now go ahead and type a couple of your own examples in the comment area. Talk to you next time!
dispel the myth = acabar com, quebrar o mito de
have a hard time (doing something) = vai ser difícil (fazer algo)
by the same token = da mesma maneira
interchangeably = um ou o outro, sem prejudicar o resultado
swing by = dar uma passada
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