Today we will see the difference between may, might and must. Usage of may and might are very similar. In general both are used to describe possibilities. Choice of one is more likely in different situations, but use of both cannot be wrong completely. It is important to note that, might is simple past tense of may. Grammar pundits insist on using may in simple present tense while might in simple past tense. This is distinction is becoming blur day by day. Following are uses where may and might are replaceable with each other.
- Express possibility
Looking at the clouds, I feel, it may rain today.
Looking at the clouds, I feel, it might rain today.
- Ask permissions
May I enter your kitchen?
Might I have a chance to speak?
- Grant Permissions
You may enter the class.
You might speak now.
Grammar books suggest that use of may implies greater likelihood than use of might. Both are equally accepted these days. While asking permissions, may is favoured than might.
May is also used in following situation.
- Express wish or prayer
May all your dreams come true on your birthday.
Might is used in following situations
- Express counter facts
If they had lived in another time, their lives might have been different.
Must on other hand is used to imply compulsion or obligation. Following are its uses
- Be obliged
I must return his money.
- Necessity; need to
Humans must eat food and drink enough water in order to stay healthy.
- Compelled to, by law or force
You must complete to homework before you leave the class.
- Forced because of requirement of honesty
I must come out clean. It’s me who stolen money from your bag.
- Urge to do
I must attend your party.
In conclusion, use of must leaves you with no other possibility whereas use of may or might is full of possibilities. Keep liking us so that we can keep posting these new things over here.