Como usar MAY e MIGHT, parte 2: a diferença – Inglês Online

Como usar MAY e MIGHT, parte 2: a diferença

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

Jun 01
Inglês - Como usar MAY e MIGHT, parte 2 a diferença

Hey, everybody. Depois da parte 1 dessa série de 2 partes, em que falei sobre as similaridades entre maymight no contexto de possibilidades presentes e futuras no inglês, hoje continuo com exemplos desses dois modal verbs em tempos verbais um pouco mais complexos.


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it might have worked out

it might have worked out

So today I give you the second part of a 2-part series on may and might. In the first part, I talked about a few simple ways to use may and might interchangeably. In today’s episode, I’ll take it a step further  and give you examples of may and might being used with multi-word verb expressions. Here’s what I’m talking about: we might have gone to the show if it had not rained. He may have read the letter by now. So today’s examples are a bit more complex and you will hear lots of “have been, have made, have gone” and so on.

There are two main kinds of situation I’m going to focus on: in the first one, there’s a possibility that something may have occurred, or might have occurredwe don’t know. This is the one where may and might are still basically interchangeable in general. In the second situation, I am going to talk about something that might have happened in a certain way, but didn’t – it happened differently, and I know that for a fact. In this one, we usually go with MIGHT.

So on to the first one. Let me present you with a few hypothetical situations… Let’s say your friend Mike said something today that, he thinks, might have offended… his friend Lisa. Mike doesn’t know for sure. Lisa may or may not be offended. Lisa might be offended – no one knows. So Mike thinks that his comment might have offended Lisa. Here we could also say, Mike thinks his comment may have offended Lisa.

So here’s another one – you gave your students homework yesterday, and today you find out that half of your students were not able to do the homework. It may have been too difficult for them. You don’t know yet, but you’re about to ask. So this is what you’re thinking: it might have been too difficult for them, or it may have been too difficult. Your friend Mary said she was going to call you up yesterday, but didn’t. Why? What is the reason she didn’t call? You don’t know for sure. She may have been really busy, or she may have forgotten. You’re not sure, but she might have forgotten, or she might have been busy.

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Now, think of a few things that could have happened in a certain way, but did not. They happened in a different way. And you know how they turned out; it’s a fact. Example: my friend John might have enjoyed his new job (it looked very promising) but it turned out that he hated it. We know for a fact that John didn’t like his job, and in this case it is more common to use MIGHT. He might have enjoyed his job, but he didn’t. I bought a lottery ticket when I was eighteen so I might have become a millionaire at 18, only… it wasn’t the winning ticket so I didn’t become a millionaire. Things between you and your boyfriend might have worked out great!… but they didn’t, unfortunately, and you guys broke up after a few months.

Now, think of something from your own life. Something that happened in a certain way. Before that outcome came about, though, that thing might have happened in a different way. What is your example? Let me know in the comments, and talk to you next time!


Key terms

  • may have been
  • might have done



on to the first one = vamos à primeira, adiante para a primeira (situação)

how they turned out = como elas acabaram acontecendo

it turned out that he… = no fim das contas, ele…

turned out differently  = acontecido de maneira diferente

  • Adrisse Mafuiane says:

    She may or might have accepted doing this job if she were here

  • Sergio Rodrigues says:

    Speaking of might, I would like to see an explanation about the expression “might as well”, I usually come across. I guess it means like our Portuguese “poderia muito bem ter feito isso….”. Have I got it right?

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