Unit 29. May and might (future)
We use may
to talk about possible happenings or possible actions in the future. Study these examples:
I’m not sure where to go on my vacation, but I may go to Puerto Rico. (= perhaps I will go)
The weather forecast is not very good. It might rain this afternoon. (= perhaps it will rain)
I can’t help you. Why don’t you ask Tom? He might be able to help you. (= perhaps he will be able to help)
The negative form is may not or might not: Ann may not come to the party tonight. She isn’t feeling well. (= perhaps she won’t come)
There might not be a meeting on Friday because the director is sick. (= perhaps there won’t be a meeting)
It doesn’t matter whether you use may or might. You can say: I may go to Italy, or I might go to Italy.
Don’t call at 8:30. I’ll be watching the football game on TV.
Don’t call at 8:30.I may (or might) be watching the football game on TV. (= perhaps I’ll be in the middle of watching it)
There is also a continuous form: may / might be doing. Compare this with will be doing (see Unit 10 a,b):
You can also use the continuous (may/might be doing) when you are talking about possible plans. Compare: I’m going to Puerto Rico in July, (for sure)
I may (or might) be going to Puerto Rico in July, (it’s possible)
But you can also say: I may/might go to Puerto Rico in July.
May as well, might as well
Study this example:
You’ll have to wait an hour for the next bus, so you might as well walk.
A: What do you want to do this evening?
B: I don’t know. Any ideas?
A: Well, there’s a movie on television. It sounds interesting.
B: We might as well watch it. There’s nothing else to do.
We use may/might as well to say that we should do something, but only because there is no reason not to do it and because there is nothing better to do. We might as well watch it means, “Why not watch it? There’s nothing better to do.”
We may as well go to the party. We have nothing else to do.
“Should we have dinner now?” “We might as well.”
For may and might see also Units 28 and 34c. For may only, see Unit 30.