Using Might

We use ‘might’ to express a number of different things:

  1. Expressing possibility;
  2. As the past form of ‘may’ for conditionals;
  3. Making polite requests.

Expressing Possibility

We can use ‘might’ to talk about something we are not certain of.

I might be late tonight.

It is possible I will be late tonight, but I’m not sure.

The rain might stop before we leave.

It is possible the rain will stop before we leave. We don’t know if the rain will stop.

Past Form of May in Conditionals

We can use ‘might’ in conditionals when the result is possible and uncertain.

If I won the lottery, I might buy a boat.

I’m not sure what I would buy if I won the lottery, but it is possible I would buy a boat.

If my car isn’t fixed, I might not be able to meet you.

My car is broken. If my car isn’t fixed soon, it is possible I won’t be able to meet you.
We use ‘would’ instead of ‘might’ when the result is certain.

Making Polite Requests

We can use ‘might’ in questions to make polite requests. This is very polite and formal, so it is not used often. It is more common to use may, can, or could for requests.

Might I borrow your pen?

I want to borrow your pen. I am asking you if it is ok.

Making Sentences Using Might

+ It might rain tomorrow. s=it + might + v

- It might not rain tomorrow. s=it + might + not + v

? Might I borrow your pen? might + s=I + v

The short form of ‘might not’ is ‘mightn’t’.