GMAT Verbal Tips : ‘May’ vs ‘Might’

May vs Might is one of those tricky verbal questions which can appear in the GMAT. Both ‘may’ and ‘might’ express possibility that something may happen but are used in entirely different contexts.

Typically, ‘may’ is used in a present tense scenario while ‘might’ is used when referring to the past.

“I may return soon if I am tired.”

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“I might have become a musician if I had tried hard enough.”

While this is a good general rule to follow, the two words are also often interchanged. If you reverse the usage of ‘may’ and ‘might’ in the two sentences above that will also work just fine.

Many grammar books and websites suggest that you should use ‘might’ if there is lesser possibility of something happening and ‘may’ otherwise. So, if there is something not happening, it is better to use ‘might’ in that sentence. ‘Might’ should also be employed in a context where something could have happened but did not.

‘May’ is also used to ask for permission in formal speech. Both ‘may’ and ‘might’ can also be used to give polite suggestions.

Test takers should understand the difference well so they ‘may’ be able to do well in the question if it presents itself. 

Attempt a few GMAT Verbal questions.

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