Hi teachers,

'Might' is the past tense of ''may'. One of the uses.

Having said that, then this sentence is correct, isn't it?

She might have taken the bus to work. I don't really know it.

Thanks in advance
1 2
Dear Thinking Spain,

Might doesn't normally have a past meaning.It is used in the same way as may to talk about the present and future. The difference is that might usually refers to situations which are less probable or less definite. Might also replaces may in the past indirect speech.

However, certain past ideas can be expressed by may or might followed by a perfect infinitive(have+past participlr).

She's late.I think she may have missed the train.

Why did you do that? You might have killed yourself.

Hope that helps

Iman
may and might have the same meaning as verbs indicating possibility.

I may travel to Italy next year. = I might travel to Italy next year. (possible that ... will)

She may have taken the bus. = She might have taken the bus. (possible that ... did)

may (have) is a bit more formal, but otherwise the two are the same when used as shown above.

________

However, when the main clause is in the past, the following subordinate clause will have might, less often may.

She knew that he might travel to Italy next year. (Not as likely, She knew that he may ...)

I thought that she might have taken the bus. (Not as likely, I thought that she may have ...)

CJ
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Hi Jim,

Thank you for the information.
CalifJimShe may have taken the bus. = She might have taken the bus. (possible that ... did)
So both of them can indicate past time with the present perfect and only with this tense, is that so?

I'm going to sleep. I'm really tired. But tomorrow early in the morning I'll be here.

Thanks it's not enough. Gracias profesor. Eres un grandísima persona, se nota por tu dedicación y explicaciones.

Hasta mañanaEmotion: smile

TS
Thinking SpainSo both of them can indicate past time with the present perfect and only with this tense, is that so?
Yes. Because may and might are modal verbs, these aren't really 'present perfect' tenses. You might say that they are 'modal perfect' tenses. The have has a different function here than it would have in a true present perfect.

The modal part is the may or the might. They are present tense in meaning. (Historically, might was past in meaning, but this is not so much true in modern English except as I mentioned above.) The part left over is the 'residue'. The residue has no tense.

If you don't add auxiliary have, the residue is interpreted as non-past (present or future).

If you add auxiliary have, the residue is interpreted as past.

But in either case the modal part remains a present (or you can say 'timeless') possibility.

I underlined the residue of each sentence below.

She may/might be hungry. = It is possible (now / timelessly) that she is hungry (now).

She may/might have been hungry. = It is possible (now / timelessly) that she was hungry (in the past).

He may/might have trouble with this problem. = It is possible that he will have trouble ... (in the future).

He may/might have had trouble with this problem. = It is possible that he had trouble ... (in the past).

Note: The last sentence has both auxiliary have and main verb have (in its past participle form had). Don't confuse the two.

CJ
Hi Jim,

Thank you, Your examples are very clear. I understood them!Emotion: smile

She may/might be home. = It is possible (now / timelessly) that she is hungry (now).

She may/might have been home. = It is possible (now / timelessly) that she was hungry (in the past).

He may/might have good results with his test. = It is possible that he will have good results ... (in the future).

He may/might have had good results with his test. = It is possible that he had good results ... (in the past).

Regards

TS
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Hi. Please help. Is this use of the modal verb "might" correct in what I think is a habitual (repeated) action setting that is in the past?

She danced a little. He might lift her hands and pray.
AnonymousIs this use of the modal verb "might" correct in what I think is a habitual (repeated) action setting that is in the past?
She danced a little. He might lift her hands and pray.
No. I don't even understand it. Dancing and praying? I don't see any connection. Sorry.

CJ
I think we use the modal verb "would" in situations where we want to write about an action that has been going on for an extended period of time in a routine fashion (has been done repeatedly for a long period of time). Thank you in advance.

Can we use the modal verb "might" here.

(made-up story)

I knew a lady who would dance to the choir music during services. She wouldn't leave her seat exactly, but would stand on her feet a little and sort of twist her body in a rhythmic fashion. Sometimes, she would follow up with a little singing. She might lift her hands while dancing. All in all, to me, it was spiritually uplifting to watch her do what she does in services.
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