Word Choice – Might and May

A BizWritingTip reader asked, “Can you explain the difference between might and may?”

Yes, I can. Both might and may imply permission or possibility. And might is the past tense of may.

Examples

The figures may be accurate. (possibility)

You may include the cleaning bill in your expense account. (permission)

I might have been able to attend, but I had forgotten about the meeting. (past possibility)

Incorrect

I might be able to attend the meeting next week.

Correct

I may be able to attend the meeting next week.

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