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Thursday, 02 June 2016 13:29

Grammar Usages Of Can, May, Or Might

Written by Syntax

May I? Can I? Might I?

 

boyBoy to his mom: “Can I please have some vanilla ice cream?”

momMom: “Sure you can, but you may not!”

boy: “But I thought you said I could?”

mom: “I did!”

boy: “I don’t get it!”

mom: “‘Can”” explains that you are capable of doing something, but ‘may’ answers the question as to whether you are allowed or given permission to do something as well as signifying that it is possible that it will happen.”

boy: “So you are saying that I might be able to have some vanilla ice cream?”

mom: “You might, one day or someday when you eat all your vegetables.”

boy: “Huh?”

mom: “Something that ‘might’ happen, such as you eating all of your vegetables and then getting your vanilla ice cream, is less likely to happen, and ‘may’ suggests it is still possible and more likely, but maybe not in this case, although it just might.”

boy: “Ok, so I can eat my vegetables and finish them, then I may have the vanilla ice cream, but I might be too full because you gave me so many vegetables!”

mom: “Now you’ve got it!”

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