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Hi,

"I think I might have an idea."

wat is meant by the sentence above mentioned?I got this from a cartoom movie,where they were trying to trap the mice, and a man said that sentence.Why might has been used in this sentence instead of may? Please tell me that and also let me know my mistakes in the post.

regards[A]
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Comments  
In this sentence the might shows uncertainty. May is basically the same, and could be used here. I don't think that the 'may' has any special nuance which is different from 'might' in this context. I tend to use 'may' very rarely, and it often seems somewhat formal.
Bundal of thanks OMGEmotion: smile,it was a nice explanation,so you mean to say if we say "I think I may have an idea"this is also correct and we can say that without any hesitation?
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When may is used in the context of permission, might cannot substitute for may.
We say, "Yes, you may go", not "Yes, you might go".
Of course, can is also used with this meaning: "Yes, you can go".

But in the context of possibility, that is, when may means "It is possible that ...", there is no significant difference between may and might, and the two are essentially interchangeable. Where I live, it is more common to use might in these situations.

-- Why is the cat scratching at the door?
-- He [may / might] want to go out.


Because can can substitute for one meaning of may, and might can substitute for the other meaning of may, one could almost speak English for years without ever using the word may!

CJ
Keenlearner
Hi,

"I think I might have an idea."

wat is meant by the sentence above mentioned?I got this from a cartoom movie,where they were trying to trap the mice, and a man said that sentence.Why might has been used in this sentence instead of may? Please tell me that and also let me know my mistakes in the post.

regards[A]

Many learners get tripped up on the useage of auxiliary words, and I agreed they can be tricky. Regarding the specific questions on “might” and “may”, this is how I see it and it may differ reader to reader:

I will / should give him a call – suggests a higher commitment or obligation to call

I may give him a call- suggests a lesser intent than “will”.

I might give him … - suggests a drops of intent lesser than “may”

And, CJ commented on another aspect of "may" which I failed to mention which relates to permission. May I leave now? Or may i be excused?
CalifJim Because can can substitute for one meaning of may, and might can substitute for the other meaning of may, one could almost speak English for years without ever using the word may!

Yeah, I rarely use "may", I mainly use it in sentences like "Today is May first" Emotion: wink
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Kooyeen,

We can’t completely avoid or purposely replace one with the other in practical daily English. I don’t believe there are rules to guide us on how, when and where to use a certain aux. word.

Might I have the salt and pepper shakers –definitely sounds strange to me

Might I see you again? – Same strange tone!

In certain idiomatic phrases and sayings, the aux. words are fixed into meaning.
GoodmanMight I have the salt and pepper shakers –definitely sounds strange to me

Might I see you again? – Same strange tone!
Well, yeah, you can't replace "may" with "might" in those contexts, but I wasn't saying that I always use "might" insead of "may", I just said that I don't use "may" very much (I also quoted CalifJim). In cases like the one you were referring to, I would probably use "can" or "could", for example. Emotion: smile
Actually, you can use might there. [AmE]

Might I have the salt?

But only if you are willing to wait a long time for anyone to respond to your request, because if you ask for something with that phrasing, you'll be taken for a timorous little mouse! Emotion: smile

CJ
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