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# may be or might be

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Manager
Joined: 24 Jul 2010
Posts: 89
may be or might be [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2011, 10:09
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anyone to explain the difference between "may be" and "might be" ?
It would be very helpful
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Joined: 25 Jul 2010
Posts: 1910
Re: may be or might be [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2011, 11:01
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Expert's post
Essentially there is no difference--they are synonyms and can be interchanged. There "may be" some colloquial subtleties in which the phrase "might be" is perceived as less definitive (in that there is in some way a smaller chance of something being true. The phrase "may be" can sometimes imply that the speaker has no idea, but when using "might be" it can sometimes imply that they have an idea or inkling about the outcome.
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Bryant Michaels

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Joined: 24 Jul 2010
Posts: 89
Re: may be or might be [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2011, 16:24
bryantmichaels wrote:
Essentially there is no difference--they are synonyms and can be interchanged. There "may be" some colloquial subtleties in which the phrase "might be" is perceived as less definitive (in that there is in some way a smaller chance of something being true. The phrase "may be" can sometimes imply that the speaker has no idea, but when using "might be" it can sometimes imply that they have an idea or inkling about the outcome.

thank you for this clear answer.
Could you please explain your answer to the following question ?

According to scientists at the University of California, the pattern of changes that have
occurred in human DNA over the millennia indicate the possibility that everyone alive
today might be descended from a single female ancestor who
lived in Africa sometime
between 140,000 and 280,000 years ago.
(A) indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single
female ancestor who
(B) indicate that everyone alive today might possibly be a descendant of a single female
(C) may indicate that everyone alive today has descended from a single female ancestor
(D) indicates that everyone alive today may be a descendant of a single female ancestor
who
(E) indicates that everyone alive today might be a descendant from a single female
ancestor who
Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 409
Re: may be or might be [#permalink]

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12 Mar 2011, 07:36
ok, this is how I arrived at d:

"pattern of changes" is singular. Hence, rule out a,b and c. Then between d and e , e has an idiom error "descendent from". it should be "descendent of". Hence, d
Manager
Joined: 24 Jul 2010
Posts: 89
Re: may be or might be [#permalink]

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12 Mar 2011, 07:39
excellent ! In hurry, I actually missed this subtile idiom...
Manager
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Re: may be or might be [#permalink]

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12 Mar 2011, 14:10
yes. the answer should be definitely D for that one.
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Re: may be or might be   [#permalink] 12 Mar 2011, 14:10
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# may be or might be

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