See Exercises 7 and 8. { bidder: 'ix', params: { siteId: '195451', size: [320, 50] }}, to tell people information that was secret, You could hear a pin drop: more interesting ways of saying ‘quiet’, Clear explanations of natural written and spoken English. pbjs.que = pbjs.que || []; { bidder: 'criteo', params: { networkId: 7100, publisherSubId: 'cdo_btmslot' }}, dfpSlots['rightslot'] = googletag.defineSlot('/2863368/rightslot', [[300, 250]], 'ad_rightslot').defineSizeMapping(mapping_rightslot).setTargeting('sri', '0').setTargeting('vp', 'mid').setTargeting('hp', 'right').addService(googletag.pubads()); Can and Could The modal auxiliary can is most often used in the Simple conjugation. dfpSlots['houseslot_a'] = googletag.defineSlot('/2863368/houseslot', [300, 250], 'ad_houseslot_a').defineSizeMapping(mapping_houseslot_a).setTargeting('sri', '0').setTargeting('vp', 'mid').setTargeting('hp', 'right').setCategoryExclusion('house').addService(googletag.pubads()); {code: 'ad_topslot_b', pubstack: { adUnitName: 'cdo_topslot', adUnitPath: '/2863368/topslot' }, mediaTypes: { banner: { sizes: [[728, 90]] } }, { bidder: 'sovrn', params: { tagid: '346698' }}, timeout: 8000, { bidder: 'onemobile', params: { dcn: '8a969411017171829a5c82bb4deb000b', pos: 'cdo_topslot_728x90' }}, The speaker also shows degree of certainty or uncertainty through intonation and stress. if(success && (tcData.eventStatus === 'useractioncomplete' || tcData.eventStatus === 'tcloaded')) { For today’s blog post, we’re putting on our best suit and tie. If there are two auxiliaries in brackets ( ), choose the correct one. But there is no real basis for this, as ‘can’ has long been used to ask for permission. { bidder: 'sovrn', params: { tagid: '446382' }}, {code: 'ad_rightslot', pubstack: { adUnitName: 'cdo_rightslot', adUnitPath: '/2863368/rightslot' }, mediaTypes: { banner: { sizes: [[300, 250]] } }, var mapping_rightslot = googletag.sizeMapping().addSize([746, 0], [[300, 250]]).addSize([0, 0], []).build(); 'cap': true dfpSlots['topslot_a'] = googletag.defineSlot('/2863368/topslot', [], 'ad_topslot_a').defineSizeMapping(mapping_topslot_a).setTargeting('sri', '0').setTargeting('vp', 'top').setTargeting('hp', 'center').addService(googletag.pubads()); name: "identityLink", bids: [{ bidder: 'rubicon', params: { accountId: '17282', siteId: '162050', zoneId: '776336', position: 'btf' }}, { { bidder: 'sovrn', params: { tagid: '346693' }}, { bidder: 'criteo', params: { networkId: 7100, publisherSubId: 'cdo_topslot' }}, { bidder: 'onemobile', params: { dcn: '8a969411017171829a5c82bb4deb000b', pos: 'cdo_btmslot_300x250' }}, { bidder: 'pubmatic', params: { publisherId: '158679', adSlot: 'cdo_btmslot' }}]}]; {code: 'ad_btmslot_a', pubstack: { adUnitName: 'cdo_btmslot', adUnitPath: '/2863368/btmslot' }, mediaTypes: { banner: { sizes: [[300, 250]] } }, Mary couldn't possibly go to jail for the crime. bids: [{ bidder: 'rubicon', params: { accountId: '17282', siteId: '162050', zoneId: '776336', position: 'btf' }}, 'min': 31, { bidder: 'appnexus', params: { placementId: '11654208' }}, Could in the present only expresses weak possibility. bids: [{ bidder: 'rubicon', params: { accountId: '17282', siteId: '162036', zoneId: '776140', position: 'atf' }}, Past perfect simple or past perfect continuous? But if we are asking for permission, these words mean the same thing. {code: 'ad_rightslot', pubstack: { adUnitName: 'cdo_rightslot', adUnitPath: '/2863368/rightslot' }, mediaTypes: { banner: { sizes: [[300, 250]] } }, { bidder: 'ix', params: { siteId: '195465', size: [300, 250] }}, { bidder: 'pubmatic', params: { publisherId: '158679', adSlot: 'cdo_topslot' }}]}, They may be late. Were we to say ‘You could have an orange’, for instance, we’d simply be telling someone that having an orange is a possibility. All that said, I think in the common vernacular, the three words have become used somewhat interchangeably and I doubt anyone will slight a new english speaker for using one incorrectly, when correctness may in fact be altogether subjective. dfpSlots['btmslot_a'] = googletag.defineSlot('/2863368/btmslot', [[300, 250], 'fluid'], 'ad_btmslot_a').defineSizeMapping(mapping_btmslot_a).setTargeting('sri', '0').setTargeting('vp', 'btm').setTargeting('hp', 'center').addService(googletag.pubads()); { bidder: 'ix', params: { siteId: '195467', size: [320, 50] }}, In particular, reproduction of any or all of these pages for use on another website { bidder: 'openx', params: { unit: '539971066', delDomain: 'idm-d.openx.net' }}, He may agree with you. addPrebidAdUnits(pbAdUnits); { bidder: 'pubmatic', params: { publisherId: '158679', adSlot: 'cdo_topslot' }}]}, },{ { bidder: 'ix', params: { siteId: '195465', size: [300, 250] }}, iasLog("setting page_url: - https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/can-could-or-may"); Verb patterns: verb + infinitive or verb + -. googletag.pubads().setTargeting("cdo_ei", "can-could-or-may"); { bidder: 'onemobile', params: { dcn: '8a969411017171829a5c82bb4deb000b', pos: 'cdo_leftslot_160x600' }}, { bidder: 'criteo', params: { networkId: 7100, publisherSubId: 'cdo_topslot' }}, {code: 'ad_btmslot_a', pubstack: { adUnitName: 'cdo_btmslot', adUnitPath: '/2863368/btmslot' }, mediaTypes: { banner: { sizes: [[300, 250]] } }, name: "_pubcid", var mapping_leftslot = googletag.sizeMapping().addSize([1063, 0], [[120, 600], [160, 600], [300, 600]]).addSize([963, 0], [[120, 600], [160, 600]]).addSize([0, 0], []).build(); googletag.pubads().setTargeting("sfr", "cdo_dict_british-grammar"); { bidder: 'sovrn', params: { tagid: '346693' }}, pid: '94' { bidder: 'onemobile', params: { dcn: '8a969411017171829a5c82bb4deb000b', pos: 'cdo_leftslot_160x600' }}, name: "identityLink", Present perfect simple or present perfect continuous? iasLog("exclusion label : resp"); { bidder: 'openx', params: { unit: '539971080', delDomain: 'idm-d.openx.net' }}, { bidder: 'sovrn', params: { tagid: '346698' }}, { bidder: 'triplelift', params: { inventoryCode: 'Cambridge_HDX' }}, window.ga=window.ga||function(){(ga.q=ga.q||[]).push(arguments)};ga.l=+new Date; a: 'Yes, you may'. { bidder: 'pubmatic', params: { publisherId: '158679', adSlot: 'cdo_btmslot' }}]}]; { bidder: 'criteo', params: { networkId: 7100, publisherSubId: 'cdo_rightslot' }}, { bidder: 'triplelift', params: { inventoryCode: 'Cambridge_SR' }}, },{ bids: [{ bidder: 'rubicon', params: { accountId: '17282', siteId: '162036', zoneId: '776160', position: 'atf' }}, googletag.pubads().setTargeting("cdo_pc", "dictionary"); 'cap': true { bidder: 'pubmatic', params: { publisherId: '158679', adSlot: 'cdo_rightslot' }}]}, Might I observe what you are doing? gdpr: { { bidder: 'criteo', params: { networkId: 7100, publisherSubId: 'cdo_leftslot' }}, iasLog("criterion : cdo_pc = dictionary"); var mapping_leftslot = googletag.sizeMapping().addSize([1063, 0], [[120, 600], [160, 600], [300, 600]]).addSize([963, 0], [[120, 600], [160, 600]]).addSize([0, 0], []).build(); { bidder: 'ix', params: { siteId: '195467', size: [320, 50] }}, EnglishForward.com | The Internet's Largest Learn English Community | if I had an umbrella it would not be possible for me to get wet), or as in q: 'May I go to store?' }, dfpSlots['rightslot'] = googletag.defineSlot('/2863368/rightslot', [[300, 250]], 'ad_rightslot').defineSizeMapping(mapping_rightslot).setTargeting('sri', '0').setTargeting('vp', 'mid').setTargeting('hp', 'right').addService(googletag.pubads()); var mapping_houseslot_b = googletag.sizeMapping().addSize([963, 0], []).addSize([0, 0], [300, 250]).build(); { bidder: 'sovrn', params: { tagid: '346688' }}, name: "idl_env", { bidder: 'sovrn', params: { tagid: '346688' }}, pbjsCfg.consentManagement = { Browse our dictionary apps today and ensure you are never again lost for words. { bidder: 'pubmatic', params: { publisherId: '158679', adSlot: 'cdo_btmslot' }}]}]; The difference is that ‘could’ and ‘may’ are politer. {code: 'ad_topslot_b', pubstack: { adUnitName: 'cdo_topslot', adUnitPath: '/2863368/topslot' }, mediaTypes: { banner: { sizes: [[728, 90]] } }, },{ userSync: { It may snow later this afternoon. Might is the Past Tense of May. bids: [{ bidder: 'rubicon', params: { accountId: '17282', siteId: '162050', zoneId: '776358', position: 'atf' }}, ga('create', 'UA-31379-3',{cookieDomain:'dictionary.cambridge.org',siteSpeedSampleRate: 10}); var mapping_topslot_b = googletag.sizeMapping().addSize([746, 0], [[728, 90]]).addSize([0, 0], []).build(); { bidder: 'appnexus', params: { placementId: '11654174' }}, bidderSequence: "fixed" e.g. googletag.cmd = googletag.cmd || []; bids: [{ bidder: 'rubicon', params: { accountId: '17282', siteId: '162036', zoneId: '776140', position: 'atf' }}, There is only a possibility that the restaurant will close but no one is very sure. type: "html5", Adverbs and adverb phrases: typical errors, Adjectives and adjective phrases: typical errors, Conjunctions: causes, reasons, results and purpose, Relative clauses referring to a whole sentence, Relative clauses: defining and non-defining, Nationalities, languages, countries and regions, types of English (formal, informal, etc. } May I say something now? May I come in? var googletag = googletag || {}; { bidder: 'triplelift', params: { inventoryCode: 'Cambridge_Billboard' }}, { bidder: 'ix', params: { siteId: '195451', size: [300, 50] }}, May you find love and happiness! const customGranularity = { { bidder: 'criteo', params: { networkId: 7100, publisherSubId: 'cdo_leftslot' }}, { bidder: 'onemobile', params: { dcn: '8a969411017171829a5c82bb4deb000b', pos: 'cdo_btmslot_300x250' }}, Or should we be careful not to mix them up? 'min': 3.05, { bidder: 'sovrn', params: { tagid: '346693' }}, { bidder: 'onemobile', params: { dcn: '8a969411017171829a5c82bb4deb000b', pos: 'cdo_leftslot_160x600' }}, if(window.__tcfapi) ‘May’ and ‘might’ are a bit easier. { bidder: 'ix', params: { siteId: '195451', size: [300, 250] }}, The second example has the meaning, When she was young, she was able to swim across the lake. { bidder: 'ix', params: { siteId: '195451', size: [320, 50] }}, This subconscious pattern may be due to early childhood training, superstition, or it could be based on a false interpretation of scriptures.» could you please explain the difference between may and could in the sentence. { bidder: 'openx', params: { unit: '539971081', delDomain: 'idm-d.openx.net' }}, type: "html5", iasLog("setting page_url: - https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/could-may-and-might"); Like the auxiliary would, could can be used in polite requests and suggestions. 'Could' is more similar to 'may' in that it is referring to an ability, however I think it is is more referring to a subjunctive situation such as 'I could go to the store, if I wanted to' or 'I could be there at 8, but I'll likely get stuck in traffic'; additionally there is also an implication that the situation being described following 'could' is less than likely. {code: 'ad_leftslot', pubstack: { adUnitName: 'cdo_leftslot', adUnitPath: '/2863368/leftslot' }, mediaTypes: { banner: { sizes: [[120, 600], [160, 600]] } }, One of the meanings of must is to be obliged to or to have to. or social media is expressly forbidden. be able to - { bidder: 'criteo', params: { networkId: 7100, publisherSubId: 'cdo_topslot' }}, They may not be happy about what happened. "authorization": "https://dictionary.cambridge.org/auth/info?rid=READER_ID&url=CANONICAL_URL&ref=DOCUMENT_REFERRER&type=&v1=&v2=&v3=&v4=british-grammar&_=RANDOM", { bidder: 'onemobile', params: { dcn: '8a969411017171829a5c82bb4deb000b', pos: 'cdo_rightslot_flex' }}, { bidder: 'criteo', params: { networkId: 7100, publisherSubId: 'cdo_rightslot' }}, This expresses what the speaker believes is a general truth or known fact, or a strong possibility. var mapping_topslot_a = googletag.sizeMapping().addSize([746, 0], []).addSize([0, 550], [[300, 250]]).addSize([0, 0], [[300, 50], [320, 50], [320, 100]]).build(); e.g. May he ask a question? Verb patterns: verb + infinitive or verb + -. { bidder: 'openx', params: { unit: '539971081', delDomain: 'idm-d.openx.net' }}, Please elaborate. If we used ‘may’ or ‘could’ instead, we would seem less sure about the claim we’re making: Eating oranges could improve your health. { bidder: 'openx', params: { unit: '539971079', delDomain: 'idm-d.openx.net' }}, pbjs.que.push(function() { EnglishForward.com | The Internet's Largest Learn English Community | },{ {code: 'ad_topslot_a', pubstack: { adUnitName: 'cdo_topslot', adUnitPath: '/2863368/topslot' }, mediaTypes: { banner: { sizes: [[300, 50], [320, 50], [320, 100]] } }, { bidder: 'triplelift', params: { inventoryCode: 'Cambridge_HDX' }}, 'pa pdd chac-sb tc-bd bw hbr-20 hbss lpt-25' : 'hdn'">. We use can, could and may to ask for permission. { bidder: 'ix', params: { siteId: '195467', size: [300, 250] }}, {code: 'ad_topslot_b', pubstack: { adUnitName: 'cdo_topslot', adUnitPath: '/2863368/topslot' }, mediaTypes: { banner: { sizes: [[728, 90]] } }, Saying ‘Nobody could leave’ is therefore equivalent to saying ‘Nobody was permitted to leave’. { bidder: 'openx', params: { unit: '539971079', delDomain: 'idm-d.openx.net' }}, I shall be in London on Monday (or I'll be ...). { bidder: 'onemobile', params: { dcn: '8a9690ab01717182962182bb50ce0007', pos: 'cdo_topslot_mobile_flex' }}, pbjs.setConfig(pbjsCfg); { bidder: 'ix', params: { siteId: '194852', size: [300, 250] }}, { bidder: 'criteo', params: { networkId: 7100, publisherSubId: 'cdo_btmslot' }}, }); {code: 'ad_rightslot', pubstack: { adUnitName: 'cdo_rightslot', adUnitPath: '/2863368/rightslot' }, mediaTypes: { banner: { sizes: [[300, 250]] } }, { bidder: 'criteo', params: { networkId: 7100, publisherSubId: 'cdo_btmslot' }}, { bidder: 'sovrn', params: { tagid: '446382' }}, { bidder: 'onemobile', params: { dcn: '8a969411017171829a5c82bb4deb000b', pos: 'cdo_rightslot_flex' }}, googletag.pubads().setTargeting("cdo_tc", "resp"); The exception here is discussing permission in the past tense, since ‘could’ is the simple past tense of ‘can’. ga('set', 'dimension2', "entry"); var pbMobileLrSlots = [ { bidder: 'criteo', params: { networkId: 7100, publisherSubId: 'cdo_rightslot' }}, bids: [{ bidder: 'rubicon', params: { accountId: '17282', siteId: '162050', zoneId: '776336', position: 'btf' }}, }, When she was young, she could swim across the lake. }, They’re also often used interchangeably in everyday English. Academic Writing: How to Structure a Lab Report, 7 Tricks for Catching Up If You Fall Behind on NaNoWriMo, A Quick Guide to Page Numbers in Chicago Referencing. { bidder: 'appnexus', params: { placementId: '11654174' }}, "sign-in": "https://dictionary.cambridge.org/auth/signin?rid=READER_ID", 'buckets': [{ userIds: [{ googletag.pubads().setTargeting("sfr", "cdo_dict_british-grammar"); gdpr: { It cannot be true. { bidder: 'ix', params: { siteId: '195451', size: [300, 250] }}, { bidder: 'sovrn', params: { tagid: '387233' }}, Could is more polite than can: Teachers and parents often use can and could in requests: Can you open you books at page 34, please. Can / May I borrow your bicycle? window.ga=window.ga||function(){(ga.q=ga.q||[]).push(arguments)};ga.l=+new Date; { bidder: 'ix', params: { siteId: '195467', size: [300, 50] }}, } It may shower tonight. May Used to ask for formal permission: May I come in? googletag.pubads().setTargeting('cdo_alc_pr', pl_p.split(",")); [email protected]. A third modal for making polite requests is could. var mapping_rightslot = googletag.sizeMapping().addSize([746, 0], [[300, 250]]).addSize([0, 0], []).build(); e.g. In order to express the idea of not being obliged to do something, an expression such as not to be obliged to or not to have to is generally used. Let’s look at a few examples: { bidder: 'appnexus', params: { placementId: '11654149' }}, { bidder: 'appnexus', params: { placementId: '11654149' }}, { bidder: 'criteo', params: { networkId: 7100, publisherSubId: 'cdo_btmslot' }}, { bidder: 'ix', params: { siteId: '195451', size: [300, 50] }}, { bidder: 'onemobile', params: { dcn: '8a969411017171829a5c82bb4deb000b', pos: 'cdo_topslot_728x90' }}, { bidder: 'triplelift', params: { inventoryCode: 'Cambridge_MidArticle' }}, It must have rained last night, because the streets are wet. params: { { bidder: 'appnexus', params: { placementId: '11654208' }}, googletag.pubads().enableSingleRequest(); { bidder: 'pubmatic', params: { publisherId: '158679', adSlot: 'cdo_topslot' }}]}, That’s because we’re dealing with some formal English: specifically, the differences between ‘can’, ‘may’ and ‘could’. var mapping_btmslot_a = googletag.sizeMapping().addSize([746, 0], [[300, 250], 'fluid']).addSize([0, 0], [[300, 250], [320, 50], [300, 50], 'fluid']).build(); This expresses a real fact using the present simple. We use could, may and might to express degrees of possibility. Please note that British English spelling is used on this website. iasLog("criterion : cdo_dc = british-grammar"); It is possible he may have called while we were out. iasLog("criterion : cdo_ei = could-may-and-might"); { bidder: 'openx', params: { unit: '539971081', delDomain: 'idm-d.openx.net' }}, { bidder: 'triplelift', params: { inventoryCode: 'Cambridge_SR' }}, The other main use of these terms is to ask for or give permission. I was not able to understand modal earlier but now they are very easy to me. You should take an umbrella in case it rains. }, { bidder: 'sovrn', params: { tagid: '346688' }}, May, might and must are also used to express differing degrees of probability: Degree of Probability Auxiliary somewhat probable may, might highly probable must For instance, may and might are often used in the Simple conjugation to express the idea that an event is somewhat probable. The book I'm using presents them as all the same, but I knew that "could" just sounded a bit strange used in that way when the subject is a person. e.g. storage: { },{ { bidder: 'ix', params: { siteId: '195464', size: [160, 600] }}, "authorizationFallbackResponse": { { bidder: 'sovrn', params: { tagid: '446381' }}, ‘May’ and ‘could’, by comparison, suggest we are less certain about something. { bidder: 'ix', params: { siteId: '195464', size: [160, 600] }}, iasLog("__tcfapi useractioncomplete or tcloaded ", tcData, success); ga('require', 'displayfeatures'); We take a look at your options. { bidder: 'criteo', params: { networkId: 7100, publisherSubId: 'cdo_topslot' }}, { bidder: 'pubmatic', params: { publisherId: '158679', adSlot: 'cdo_btmslot' }}]}]; 'max': 3, { bidder: 'sovrn', params: { tagid: '387232' }}, storage: { }, tcData.listenerId); I have to teach this in class tomorrow (might, may, could, etc as future possibilities). { bidder: 'pubmatic', params: { publisherId: '158679', adSlot: 'cdo_topslot' }}]}, },{ The materials found on this website may be copied for use in the classroom or for private study. Usamos might, may y could para hablar de la posibilidad de algo en el presente o en el futuro o si no estamos seguros de que algo vaya a … 'cap': true { bidder: 'pubmatic', params: { publisherId: '158679', adSlot: 'cdo_topslot' }}]}, The most important meaning of can and could is to be able to. iasLog("__tcfapi removeEventListener", success); 'max': 8, e.g. If I had more time, I could travel around the world. I would be glad if I could help you. { bidder: 'appnexus', params: { placementId: '11653860' }}, googletag.pubads().setTargeting("cdo_dc", "british-grammar"); iasLog("criterion : cdo_pc = dictionary"); dfpSlots['topslot_b'] = googletag.defineSlot('/2863368/topslot', [[728, 90]], 'ad_topslot_b').defineSizeMapping(mapping_topslot_b).setTargeting('sri', '0').setTargeting('vp', 'top').setTargeting('hp', 'center').addService(googletag.pubads()); He may/might/could have died. { bidder: 'pubmatic', params: { publisherId: '158679', adSlot: 'cdo_btmslot' }}]}]; if(!isPlusPopupShown()) He says I can take the day off. 'cap': true window.__tcfapi('removeEventListener', 2, function(success){ { bidder: 'appnexus', params: { placementId: '11653860' }}, { bidder: 'sovrn', params: { tagid: '446381' }}, "authorizationTimeout": 10000 ", or "May I..."to ask someone for permission. } 'I might get wet, because it might rain today' independent of any permitting or limiting factors it is simply stating that there is a chance that the event will happen/the situation is as descibed; If one said 'I may get wet, because it might rain today' I believe there would be an implication that there was some other permitting factor coming into play that the speaker is implicitly referring to through using the word 'may' rather than 'might' (such as not having an umbrella). The second distinction, which is the more important of the two, between these two words is that might is the past tense of may.

may or could

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