Modal verbs

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Posts141Likes39Joined19/9/2019LocationSão Paulo / BR
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Portuguese
Learning English, French, Italian, Spanish

Is there any meaning difference between "may" and "might"? For example, "I may go to the beach for the holidays" or "I might go to the beach for the holidays"? I've learnt that I should use them to talk about probability, but what's the actual use?

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#1
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Posts48Likes49Joined23/9/2019LocationNovi Sad / RS
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Learning Danish, English, Russian

Grammatically speaking, "might" is the past tense of "may", but they essentially mean the same thing. My English teacher told me a few years ago that "might" conveys a slightly lesser probability than "may", but I'm not too sure about that since I haven't found it in any books or other resources.

JEG KAN IKKE FORSTÅ

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#2
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Posts80Likes40Joined26/9/2019LocationKR
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May: Mostly used as permission. Ex) May I borrow your pen? Yes, You may.


Might: When you are 50% unsure if you do something or not. Ex) I might go to a concert tonight. << 50% going to a concert or 50% not going to a concert

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#3
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Posts1132Likes732Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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Valeria.Fontes wrote:
Is there any meaning difference between "may" and "might"? For example, "I may go to the beach for the holidays" or "I might go to the beach for the holidays"? I've learnt that I should use them to talk about probability, but what's the actual use?

These two sentences are the same, but "I may go to the beach for the holidays" could have the alternate meaning of "I've been granted permission to go to the beach for the holidays". Of course, it depends on the context.

I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

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#4
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Posts141Likes39Joined19/9/2019LocationSão Paulo / BR
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JaeHong.S wrote:
May: Mostly used as permission. Ex) May I borrow your pen? Yes, You may.
Might: When you are 50% unsure if you do something or not. Ex) I might go to a concert tonight. << 50% going to a concert or 50% not going to a concert
Thanks for your comment! In your second example you could also say "I may go to a concert tonight". My question regarded that kind of situation. In the first, you could choose to use "Can I borrow your pen?" too.

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