modal verb past tense might
- 1 1.1 (asking, granting permission) forms of may I smoke?he asked if he might see her¿puedo fumar?¿me permite fumar?and who, may I ask, are you?preguntó si podía verlamay I take your coat?¿y quién es usted, si se puede saber?you may smoke if you wish¿me permites tu abrigo?you may kiss the bridepueden fumar1.2 (in requests) See examples: may I have your opinion on this?puede besar a la noviamay we see the menu, please?¿podría darme su opinión acerca de esto?may I have this dance? [formal]¿podríamos ver or nos podría traer el menú, por favor?may I have your name and address, please?¿me concede esta pieza? [formal]¿quiere darme su nombre y dirección, por favor?Example sentences
- 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 priceyou may wish to pay in advancequizás or tal vez aumentemos el preciomay cause drowsinesstal vez or quizás usted prefiera pagar por adelantadoit may or may not be truepuede producir somnolenciahe may not have seen uspuede o no ser ciertoI'm worried he may do something foolishpuede (ser) que or quizás or tal vez no nos haya vistoa lo mejor or de pronto or (in River Plate area, Peru also) de repente no nos vioI was worried he might do something foolishtengo miedo de que haga un disparateand who is Mr Preston, you may ask?tenía miedo de que hiciera un disparate2.2 (indicating different options) forms of you may pay in cash or by checkse preguntarán quién es el señor Preston2.3 (in generalizations) See examples: no matter what they may say we'll find them, wherever they may bepuede pagar en efectivo o con chequecome what maylos encontraremos, estén donde estén or dondequiera que esténpase lo que paseExample sentences
- 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) See examples: you may well ask!you may well feel embarrassed after last night¡buena pregunta!¡eso (mismo) digo yo!I wonder how she did so well? — you may well wonderno me extraña que te sientas avergonzado después de lo de anocheme pregunto cómo le fue tan bien — eso (mismo) digo yo
- 4 (conceding) See examples: this may be unpleasant, but it must be saidhe may not be clever, but he's very hard-workingesto podrá ser desagradable, pero hay que decirlobe that as it mayno será inteligente, pero es muy trabajadorthat's as may besea como seayou may well laugh, just wait till it happens to you!puede serExample 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) See examples: we have left a space so that you may add your commentslet us fight, that justice may prevail [literary]hemos dejado un espacio para que usted pueda hacer sus comentarios5.2 (in wishes) [literary]may that day never comeluchemos por que prevalezca la justicialong may she reign!que ese día no llegue nuncamay the Lord be with you¡que reine por muchos años!see also → might1el Señor esté con vosotrosExample 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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