‘Might’ vs. ‘may’: When to use each

These helper verbs convey the likelihood of an action, but to different degrees. Verb tense matters, too.

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“I might go to the movies this weekend.”

“I may go to the movies this weekend.”

Is there a difference between these two sentences?

Both may and might are often used interchangeably; both are ways of expressing possibility. They are also modals (along with could, should, would), which are helping verbs that tell you more about the mood or attitude of the action verb.

I was brought up to ask for things using the word may (as opposed to can). “May I have another glass of milk, please?” ” May I watch cartoons on Saturday morning, please?”

I think this is what trips us up when looking at may and trying to decide whether you should use may or might. The difference between these two words is subtle but important.

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