Is there a difference between May and Might?


There is really a slight difference between these two words, I use both of them quite often on a daily basis, especially if there is something I have to do that I don’t like doing! For example, I might clean the house this weekend! Uhm… yeah right! Hope you enjoy this one! :)


You are listening to English made simple this is episode 30 (thirty), numero 30.

Wow, amazing! Can’t believe it! Whoa!

Hey guys, Welcome!

Welcome to English Made Simple, my name is Milena, and thank you for joining me. Guess what, today is my birthday, mi cumpleaño! Happy Birthday to me and my twin sister. I have a twin sister and she was born on the same day as me, We are twins, gemelas.

Well thank you guys for joining me, this show is intended to help you learn English in a simple and easy way,  so you can start speaking it with confidence and I sometimes mix a little bit of Spanish you know it’s cool to know some Spanish words porqué no? why not? Just because I can, anyway Who is watching the Olympics Andy Murray won the gold in tennis. Damm it. I jinxed it in my last episode remember I wanted Del Potro to win at the end and just because I said it, the opposite happened, and he won.  Damn it.


My friends ask me who am I supporting in the Olympics is it Australia, New Zealand, Serbia or Chile. You know what I’m proud when either of these countries wins they make me proud of course but I’d like some explanation from Chile,what’s going on there. Chile is not doing great So far, Don’t you know that too much pisco sour and not enough training is a bad combination.


The other day I asked my friend, He’s from Mauritius Island, Mauricios Islas. So I asked him how many medals those Mauritius islands have. He said, Milena we have zero medals. I said, well you know what, that’s better than nothing. You like my joke? It’s better than nothing. A bit of irony and sarcasm, I love it!! I am full of stupid jokes you will get used to it.

Now let’s begin with the show. Let us start with a simple question. Did you do your homework? What did you do last week? Can you remember one thing you had to do last week? I’ll give you a clue. You had to do your homework. I had to get up early in the morning and I had to go to work. See!! now we use have to in the past. So what did you have to do last week? I had to get up early in the morning.  Righto!


Before we dive into today’s episode.  I have some great things to send this week.  Hello to Sarath or Hola to Sarath from India, And Eliondro from Brazil. Thank you guys for your nice comments. Congratulations to Brazil by the way on winning the gold medal in football. I saw it this morning, well, the morning in Australia. Yeah, Awesome guys and India. What’s going on here? I have a friend from India and I asked her how come there are 1.2 billion people living in India, And no gold medal so far. What’s going on there? 1.2 billion people living there no gold medal.


Let’s continue. First of all I want to say something to you all. In this episode you will be in for a treat. I have some great news that I’m sure will delight most of you. I have an announcement to make at the end of the show so make sure you listen till the end no fast forwarding just listen till the end woohoo!  

In this episode we will make predictions about the future. Yes! we are going to learn about the words could, may, might. These words can help us express probability of doing something or not to doing something, to put it simply, these words will help us avoid things we don’t like doing. It’s the opposite of MUST or HAVE TO; for example you must clean the house: means there is no other option you HAVE TO do it, you MUST do it. Compared to: I might clean the house if I feel like it…  I have other things to do I have better things to do, I might clean the house when we say that we know it’s not going to happen. There is a very low chance of that happening.  

Let’s get started.  

So I introduce you to modal verbs in the last two episodes we learnt about the word SHOULD when we give advice then we learnt about MUST, HAVE TO when we have to, must do something and there is more of course! There is more modal verbs such as MAY MIGHT COULD. L is silent. Same as SHOULD – L is silent we spell could with an L.. But we do not pronounce the letter L.

C o u l d.

So we use modal verbs to make predictions about the future!

So is there a difference between MAY and MIGHT, there is a slight difference, slight difference pequeña diferencía, subtle difference, es sutíl


Uh.. May and Might have a very slight difference. You know what, I don’t mind which ever you decide to use, but for the sake of this lesson I will explain what this minor difference is. So in this episode we will learn about the difference between MAY and MIGHT and COULD and we will also learn about what to say when we are hundred percent (100%) sure that something will happen in the future!


The difference between May and Might is very small. It’s quite small as I mentioned earlier, so they both indicate that something is possible but something that may happen is more likely than something that might happen.


So for example, you may go to a party if Shakira invites you. OK, but you might go to a party If a friend the you don’t like very much invites you to the party. OK, so you may go if Shakira invites you, you’re like yeah, I may go why not. But if a friend that you don’t like very much invites you to the party, you might say I might go to the party. OK, I’m not overly excited to go, I might go!


So I’m going to ask you is there something the you don’t like doing?


If there is something that you don’t like doing, in this case I would use the word might when I make a statement. For example, What do I not like doing let me think about it? Let me think about it. Oh yes, I am really bad at cleaning, I don’t like cleaning my house so I keep putting it off. Putting it off is a phrasal verb it just means I’m going to delay it as much as possible because I’m really reluctant to clean it. I will delay as much as possible, So yes, I might clean my room next weekend. Yup there is a thirty percent chance that I will do it. There is always a thirty percent chance that I will clean my house. OK, I have other things to do.


OK, Another example. Let’s use another example, let’s say my best friend called me and I couldn’t answer the phone because I was shopping with my sister, I was busy shopping with my sister. OK, I wasn’t busy cleaning the room I was busy shopping OK. You know buying stuff that I don’t need, That’s what I call shopping.


So let’s say my friend called me I was out shopping with my sister and I missed my friend’s call, So I tell my sister I may call my friend later, I won’t answer the call now I may call her later. There is a seventy percent (70%) chance that I will call her later on because my memory is really bad. I may forget!


What I would like to do now is put this into perspective. let’s put MAY MIGHT and COULD on a scale from zero (0) to one hundred percent (100%). So let’s put it on a probability scale of something happening. Zero percent means very unlikely to happen, Hundred percent very likely to happen. Ok? Let’s put that on to this scale from zero to hundred percent on the left is zero on the right is a hundred percent.


If we are ninety to one hundred percent (100%) sure of something, Of something happening if we are certain it will happen, We use the word  Will – W. I. L. L.. Let’s say you have an exam in chemical engineering for example tomorrow, It sounds really hard. It will be difficult to pass the exam. We are ninety percent sure that it is difficult to pass the exam.


if we are seventy to eighty percent (70-80%)  sure that something is going to happen let’s go down the scale now from a hundred we are going down. If we are seventy to eighty percent sure that something is going to happen, We say: it may happen. If Shakira invites me to a party, I may come. But if Donald Trump invites me then I might not come. OK, actually I will not come. Remember we use will when something is hundred percent certain. So if Donald Trump invites me, then I will not come. Using will in a negative form.  I will not come. If Shakira invites me I may come…


If we are sixty to seventy percent (60-70%) sure of something happening then it might or may happen. There is a slight difference with might or may. So example, once I finish my homework I might take the dog for a walk.  If I feel like it. And finally! We’re sliding down the scale.


If we are to any to thirty percent (30%) sure of something happening, We use the word COULD. Could is less certain than MAY or MIGHT: I could help you with your homework but I’m quite busy. You could do it you know yourself, podrias  hacerlo, in Spanish. You could do it.


So does that make sense so far? I hope it does!

If we are talking about doing something in the future we have the option of using the word will, when we are hundred percent sure that something will happen. We have may, might, could if we are trying to see if there is any other options. We don’t have to do it. If there is something we don’t have to do it. We don’t feel like doing it, I might come to your party.

So what are some other words we can use when we are certain that something will happen?


Milena I promise I will do the homework. Definitely, definitely is one word something is hundred percent going to happen. Absolutely is another word. You can use. For sure, these two words for sure means absolutely. Certainly. Oh! certainly! sounds very British, certainly I’ll do it. Milena I will do the homework.


Great I love I love the sound of these words in Spanish, definitivamente, absolutamente, I love this in Spanish really cool, evidentemente, desafortunadamente, afortunadamente! woohoo!

Righto guys we’re approaching the end of the show but as I promised in the beginning of this show I have something to share with you.  I want to share something really exciting English Made Simple will be released twice per week. Yes that’s right, open your ears this week, listen up. 


I think on Wednesday, It’s going to happen. It may happen on Wednesday, It may happen on Thursday, righto listen up people. Clear your ears this week! I will catch you really soon.
And don’t forget all transcriptions are available on my website If you have any questions on any of the topics we covered in this show please let me know in the Facebook group English Made Simple or on my website. This podcast is for you and I am here to help you learn so let’s do these guys! Hasta la Proxima!

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