When one wants to change 1 to the past tense, is it obligatory to change the tense of "may" into "might"?
2. I thought he might not have noticed me.
Or should "may" be preserved as such?
3. I thought he may not have noticed me.
Which is the sentence to choose?
Looking for ESL work?: Try our EFL / TOEFL / ESL Jobs Section!
Things are a bit complicated and controversial. One of the points of view is here:
potential MAY (HAVE)
used for possibilities in non-past time; may have is used for possibility in any past time up till now; e.g.
"They may (have) put it there."
One cannot say
"It may have survived"
when it is known that it didn't survive or hasn't survived!
conditional-potential MIGHT (HAVE) (past) past-posterior
used for doubtful possibilities in past time; e.g.
"They might have put it there yesterday";
"They said that it might arrive on time."
Teleostomi1. I think he may not have noticed me."May (not) have" is just fine there.
Marius, you inspired me! I have another question related to your post. I hope I'm not bothering you too much, but I'd be very happy if you would take a look at it.