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https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/might says:

3. MODAL VERB
You use "might" to indicate that something could happen or be true in particular circumstances. (emphasis mine)

a) Your child might do better with a different teacher.

b) (He is) the type of person who might appear in a fashion magazine.

Q1) I think the condition for sentence a) is: "If she had a different teacher." Am I right?

Q2) What is the condition for sentence b)?

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The condition for (b) is rather vague, and could include any circumstance that would cause the stated thing to happen, e.g. if he wished to pursue that career, if he was spotted by a fashion editor, if we happened to pick up up the appropriate magazine and spot him there, etc. The point of the sentence is to tell us about his appearance, and in normal reading we would not be concerned about a specific condition (unless extra context directed us towards one).

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GPY

The condition for (b) is rather vague, and could include any circumstance that would cause the stated thing to happen, e.g. if he wished to pursue that career, if he was spotted by a fashion editor, if we happened to pick up up the appropriate magazine and spot him there, etc. The point of the sentence is to tell us about his appearance, and in normal reading we would not be concerned about a specific condition (unless extra context directed us towards one).

Can I say that "might" in sentence b) indicates that we know he does have the right looks for a fashion magazine (we are not doubting his appearance) but he may or may not appear in a fashion magazine because that depends on other conditions?


You say: "in normal reading we would not be concerned about a specific condition."

Would you say the same about the following sentence containing "would"?

c) He is the type of person who would appear in a fashion magazine.

Rizan MalikCan I say that "might" in sentence b) indicates that we know he does have the right looks for a fashion magazine (we are not doubting his appearance) but he may or may not appear in a fashion magazine because that depends on other conditions?

Yes.

Rizan MalikYou say: "in normal reading we would not be concerned about a specific condition."
Would you say the same about the following sentence containing "would"?
c) He is the type of person who would appear in a fashion magazine.

Without any more context to explain it, I feel slightly uncertain about why "would" has been used here. It could be a hypothetical with an implied condition of some sort, though without context we don't know exactly what that condition is. It could be expressing the person's willingness, e.g. if asked. It could be a somewhat inexact way of expressing the same intention as "might" in your previous example. It is quite hard to pin down.

GPY
Rizan MalikCan I say that "might" in sentence b) indicates that we know he does have the right looks for a fashion magazine (we are not doubting his appearance) but he may or may not appear in a fashion magazine because that depends on other conditions?

Yes.

Can I say exactly the same thing as above about the "could" used in the following example:

d) He is the type of person who could appear in a fashion magazine.

Can I use "may" in the sentence above without any change in meaning?

e) He is the type of person who may appear in a fashion magazine.

Rizan MalikYou say: "in normal reading we would not be concerned about a specific condition."
Would you say the same about the following sentence containing "would"?
c) He is the type of person who would appear in a fashion magazine.

Without any more context to explain it, I feel slightly uncertain about why "would" has been used here. It could be a hypothetical with an implied condition of some sort, though without context we don't know exactly what that condition is. It could be expressing the person's willingness, e.g. if asked. It could be a somewhat inexact way of expressing the same intention as "might" in your previous example. It is quite hard to pin down.

Actually I just wanted to know whether we use "would" in sentences like sentence b) in the OP, where we are not concerned about any specific conditions.

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Rizan Malik
GPY
Rizan MalikCan I say that "might" in sentence b) indicates that we know he does have the right looks for a fashion magazine (we are not doubting his appearance) but he may or may not appear in a fashion magazine because that depends on other conditions?

Yes.

Can I say exactly the same thing as above about the "could" used in the following example:

d) He is the type of person who could appear in a fashion magazine.


Yes.

Rizan MalikCan I use "may" in the sentence above without any change in meaning?
e) He is the type of person who may appear in a fashion magazine.

To me, "may" seems a somewhat less likely choice in this sentence, at least for the meaning that would normally be intended. I would say that "may" here seems more like a prediction of a possible specific future event, so it may not be such a good fit with "type of" and the indefinite article. However, this is not by any means clear cut. People do not necessarily agree on the difference between "may" and "might". If you type difference between may and might into Google you can read to your heart's content, and perhaps beyond. The usages of and differences between modal verbs can be slippery and hard to exactly explain or agree on.

Thank you very much.

GPY
Rizan Malik
GPY
Rizan MalikCan I say that "might" in sentence b) indicates that we know he does have the right looks for a fashion magazine (we are not doubting his appearance) but he may or may not appear in a fashion magazine because that depends on other conditions?

Yes.

Can I say exactly the same thing as above about the "could" used in the following example:

d) He is the type of person who could appear in a fashion magazine.

Yes.

Now consider these second conditionals, please:

1) It would be dangerous if you cycled in the city.

2) It might be dangerous if you cycled in the city.

3) It could be dangerous if you cycled in the city.

I think there is some softness in the meanings of "would", "might" and "could" in sentences 1), 2) and 3), because of the second conditionals. (I can feel it in my language and I think you can too in English)

My question: Does the same softness still exist in the meanings of "might" and "could" in the following sentences, although it is evident, from what you said above, that there are not any clear conditions in these sentences or we are not concerned about any?

b) He is the type of person who might appear in a fashion magazine.

d) He is the type of person who could appear in a fashion magazine.


I think this softness does not exist in the meanings of "may", "might", and "could" in the following examples that are predictions of possible specific future events, and that are not restricted by any circumstances. Am I right?

e) He is the type of person who may appear in a fashion magazine. ("may" is less likely in this sentence, as you said above, but I write it just for comparison)

f) The two countries may/could/might go to war.

Rizan Malik

Now consider these second conditionals, please:

1) It would be dangerous if you cycled in the city.

2) It might be dangerous if you cycled in the city.

3) It could be dangerous if you cycled in the city.

I think there is some softness in the meanings of "would", "might" and "could" in sentences 1), 2) and 3), because of the second conditionals. (I can feel it in my language and I think you can too in English)

My question: Does the same softness still exist in the meanings of "might" and "could" in the following sentences, although it is evident, from what you said above, that there are not any clear conditions in these sentences or we are not concerned about any?

b) He is the type of person who might appear in a fashion magazine.

d) He is the type of person who could appear in a fashion magazine.


I think this softness does not exist in the meanings of "may", "might", and "could" in the following examples that are predictions of possible specific future events, and that are not restricted by any circumstances. Am I right?

e) He is the type of person who may appear in a fashion magazine. ("may" is less likely in this sentence, as you said above, but I write it just for comparison)

f) The two countries may/could/might go to war.

I'm afraid I cannot clearly discern the differences that you describe.

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GPY
Rizan Malik

Now consider these second conditionals, please:

1) It would be dangerous if you cycled in the city.

2) It might be dangerous if you cycled in the city.

3) It could be dangerous if you cycled in the city.

I think there is some softness in the meanings of "would", "might" and "could" in sentences 1), 2) and 3), because of the second conditionals. (I can feel it in my language and I think you can too in English)

My question: Does the same softness still exist in the meanings of "might" and "could" in the following sentences, although it is evident, from what you said above, that there are not any clear conditions in these sentences or we are not concerned about any?

b) He is the type of person who might appear in a fashion magazine.

d) He is the type of person who could appear in a fashion magazine.


I think this softness does not exist in the meanings of "may", "might", and "could" in the following examples that are predictions of possible specific future events, and that are not restricted by any circumstances. Am I right?

e) He is the type of person who may appear in a fashion magazine. ("may" is less likely in this sentence, as you said above, but I write it just for comparison)

f) The two countries may/could/might go to war.

I'm afraid I cannot clearly discern the differences that you describe.

OK. Just ignore the second part, please. Do you agree on the first part? If so, would you call "might" and "could" "hypothetical" in sentences b) and d) above?

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