Unit 7.1

May and Might: Modals of Possibility


The verbs may/might belong to the group of modal auxiliary verbs.

They are used to talk about the possibility of something happening.


May and might have the same structure.

{See May: Modals of PossibilityA2 level ]


  1. Uncertainty/Possibility
    • I may go to the nature park as I have tickets (I already paid).
    • I might go to the nature park as the weather is nice (it is a good opportunity).
  2.  Suggestion
    • You might want to see the crocodile before we leave the zoo (it could might be interesting for you).
    • You may not want to go in this area, it’s dangerous (it is probably not a good idea to go there).
  3.  Conditionals
    • If you gain more experience, you may come diving with us.
    • If she trained more, she might be able to take part in the marathon.
    • If you had bought a lottery ticket you might have actually been the lucky one.


 We use may and might in the same way most of the time, but there are some differences between them:

  1.  We use them to express uncertainty/possibility:

    • We use may when something is more possible and likely to happen;
    • We use might when something has a remote possibility to happen.
  2. We use them to give suggestions. We use may and might the same way we do in uncertainity/possibility.
  3. We use them in conditionals, in the main clause. In the first conditional, we can use both may and might. In the second and third conditional, we can only use might. {See First Conditional, A2 level, Second Conditional and Third Conditional, B1 level}


The modals may and might both express possibility. However, may is used when there is a higher possibility for something to happen.

The structures are:

  • May: We start with the subject followed by may and a verb.
  • Might: We start with the subject followed by might and a verb.

For example:
— “You may want to use this path, it’s less steep.” = There is a higher possibility that you choose this path.
— “I might want to use that path if I’m ready on time.” = There is a possibility that I might go, but it depends on the time I’m ready.
— “If I’m ready on time, I may/Might use that path.”If I was ready on time, I might use that path.” / If I had been ready on time, I might have used that path.” = We can also use mayand mightin the first, second and third conditional instead of will and would.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.