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what is difference between these two sentences
He might come. or he may come .
thanks
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Comments  (Page 3) 
But:

1. Well, yes, we may be able to go to the party...but I've been having a lot of trouble with the car this week. So don't hold your breath...

2. Did I tell you, by the way? We might be going to France for Christmas this year! Zenana's letting us use her house in Normandy. So as long as I can get the time off work, we should be ok.

Now I'd be very wary of saying that "may" in #1 expressed "likelihood", while "might" in #2 expressed a "stronger sense of doubt".

MrP
MrPedanticBut:

1. Well, yes, we may be able to go to the party...but I've been having a lot of trouble with the car this week. So don't hold your breath...

2. Did I tell you, by the way? We might be going to France for Christmas this year! Zenana's letting us use her house in Normandy. So as long as I can get the time off work, we should be ok.

Now I'd be very wary of saying that "may" in #1 expressed "likelihood", while "might" in #2 expressed a "stronger sense of doubt".
OK.
Now, would you use may for might and the other way round in the two sentences? Your reasons? Thanks.
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Some of you might want to see the quotations from references (Swan and The Grammar Book) presented in another forum:

Can, Could, may, might
http://tinyurl.com/rg3pg

-----
must -- necessarily, very certain(ly) HIGHEST CERTAINTY
will -- fairly certainly
should -- probable, probably, likely
may -- perhaps, maybe, quite possible/ly
could, might -- possible, possibly LOWEST CERTAINTY
----
<Not necessarily. It may simply be that the use of "may" and "might" by native speakers is more complicated than some ESL webpages (and grammars, seemingly) would suggest. >

Is that where you think I get my opinions from?

Well not after you've manipulated it to suit your needs it doesn't.

More normal:

Teen: So, you may let me go to the party then? Great!

Mum: I said might, not may
Parings of may and might/might and may. Why is the "or" there?

I ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE that my participation in events conducted by the Organizers may result in injury

or death to myself and others. I assume the entire responsibility for any and all damages, injuries, losses or deaths,

howsoever caused, including, without limiting, any injuries, losses or deaths that may or might be caused, directly or

indirectly, as a result of any omission or negligence committed by the Organizers that I may incur or suffer while

attending at or participating in the Competitions.

http://www.edbfa.com/Downloads/APP-002.061Waiver.pdf#search=%22%22may%20or%20might%22%22

------------------------

Yet every supposed call to arms reduces itself to banality. Scientists imply that Armaggedon is a matter of may or might or could well be, before telling us to use less petrol and flying off to another conference. At such moments I am inclined to join Voltaire in his garden.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1059-2200308,00.html

-------------

Though this statement might or may not be true, while here on earth why not cover your ass?

http://www.prince.org/msg/7/201464

The Agency has policy and procedures for handling complaints, all anomalies referred to it which have given rise to an allegation of miscarriage of justice and all anomalies raised internally which might or may have given rise to a potential miscarriage of justice.

http://www.ccrc.gov.uk/documents/FSNI_CCRC_RELATIONS.DOC

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To summarize:

Uses of MAY and MIGHT per Million / Percent
Academic News Spoken
Register: ~ 3.0 ~ 2.5 ~ 1.5 - 2.0

MAY 36600 / 76% 8879 / 69% 5471 / 39%

MIGHT 11439 / 24% 3984 / 31% 8380 / 61%

Interesting, innit?
Awfully! Emotion: smile

Amazing how accurate my intuition was.
Now how can you establish that people always speak of less probable things than they write about? If you can do that, you'll have a pretty good proof of your point. But I have some reservations about how such a thing might be proved. How would a person even go about it? Is the higher frequency of I, we, and you in spoken language involved here?

CJ
Interesting:

Might I help you, sir?

Yes, you may.

-----------

Might I help you, sir?

*Yes, you might.

.....

May I help you, sir?

Yes, you may.

..........

Think about it. Emotion: wink
MilkyThe BNC (see link) gives this result for "may" and "might" in News registers:

may - 8879 appearances per million words

might - 3984 per mill.
http://view.byu.edu /
Well, The New York Times doesn't have a corpus, but let's see what happens in AmE news, based on regular searches at its site:

may - 688,058 Results

might - 408,667 Results

http://www.nytimes.com

Could it be that the American newscasters (and perhaps the AmE in general) are using "may" than their English counterparts?
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
<Now how can you establish that people always speak of less probable things than they write about? >

Not the same discussion. There are less transcriptions of spoken English than there are of written in the BNC.

The intention was not that you compare written with spoken, but written uses of "may" and "might" in each individual register.

--------------------

But yes, I believe that spoken language allows more uncertainty than do the Academic or News registers. With might vs may, there are added factors. Might also signals higher formality for many. It is also considered as somewhat dated by some, and, for many also, it sounds stuffy. So, that could be a major reason why one hears less of it in the spoken language.

If you want to show that spoken language allows much more uncertainty than the written form (excluding fiction and other such written-spoken registers), You'd have to ask around. I have done, and it appears that it's true.

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