modal verb past tense might
- 1 1.1 (asking, granting permission) forms of may I smoke?¿puedo fumar?he asked if he might see her
¿me permite fumar?preguntó si podía verlaand who, may I ask, are you?¿y quién es usted, si se puede saber?may I take your coat?¿me permites tu abrigo?you may smoke if you wishpueden fumaryou may kiss the bridepuede besar a la noviaExample sentences1.2 (in requests) may I have your opinion on this?
¿podría darme su opinión acerca de esto?may we see the menu, please?¿podríamos ver or nos podría traer el menú, por favor?may I have this dance? [formal]¿me concede esta pieza? [formal]may I have your name and address, please?¿quiere darme su nombre y dirección, por favor?
- The club now says his identity may not be revealed until the end of the month, but insist the deal is still on.
- Of course there is a right of appeal, which in some cases may not be exercised without prior permission.
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- 2 2.1 (indicating probability)El grado de probabilidad que indica may es mayor que el que expresan might o couldwe may increase the pricequizás or tal vez aumentemos el precioyou may wish to pay in advancetal vez or quizás usted prefiera pagar por adelantadomay cause drowsinesspuede producir somnolenciait may or may not be truepuede o no ser ciertohe may not have seen uspuede (ser) que or quizás or tal vez no nos haya vistoa lo mejor or de pronto or (River Plate area, Peru tb) de repente no nos vioI'm worried he may do something foolishtengo miedo de que haga un disparateI was worried he might do something foolishtenía miedo de que hiciera un disparateand who is Mr Preston, you may ask?se preguntarán quién es el señor PrestonExample sentences2.2 (indicating different options) forms of you may pay in cash or by check
puede pagar en efectivo o con cheque2.3 (in generalizations) no matter what they may say we'll find them, wherever they may belos encontraremos, estén donde estén or dondequiera que esténcome what maypase lo que pase
- This may well be true and look at the hatred that it has generated in most Western countries.
- That may well be true of course, though few have ever stated it so bluntly.
- That indeed may well be true but rather than finessing this issue it should surely be addressing it head on.
- 3 (indicating something is natural) you may well ask!¡buena pregunta!you may well feel embarrassed after last night
¡eso (mismo) digo yo!no me extraña que te sientas avergonzado después de lo de anocheI wonder how she did so well? — you may well wonderme pregunto cómo le fue tan bien — eso (mismo) digo yo
- 4 (conceding) this may be unpleasant, but it must be saidesto podrá ser desagradable, pero hay que decirlohe may not be clever, but he's very hard-workingno será inteligente, pero es muy trabajadorbe that as it maysea como seathat's as may bepuede seryou may well laugh, just wait till it happens to you!Example sentences
- They may not seem important at the time but, trust me, one day they could be more vital than a very vital thing indeed.
- It may be deeply important to some people but it is essentially a part of life, it doesn't govern our lives.
- It may not have felt like it, and he may not have admitted to it, but Johnson was a pioneering force.
- 5 5.1 (indicating purpose) we have left a space so that you may add your commentshemos dejado un espacio para que usted pueda hacer sus comentarioslet us fight, that justice may prevail [literary]luchemos por que prevalezca la justicia5.2 (in wishes) [literary]may that day never comeque ese día no llegue nuncalong may she reign!¡que reine por muchos años!may the Lord be with youel Señor esté con vosotrossee also→ might1Example sentences
- I am writing in the hope you may be able to help me with family history research.
- It is hoped the British submersible may be able to cut the submarine loose once raised to a suitable depth.
- Her husband paid tribute to her as a loving family woman and hopes she may rest in the peace of God.
- see also→ JanuaryExample sentences
- Tour operators with summer programmes always struggle to fill the months of May and June.
- It is going to give us a good starting point for the month of May but we still have a lot of work to do as does everyone else.
- I feel the month of May is the most delightful time to be out and about on the river.
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