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May vs Might

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Senior Manager
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May vs Might [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2006, 22:02
130. As many as 300 of the 720 paintings attributed to Rembrandt may actually be the works of his students or other admirers.
(A) the 720 paintings attributed to Rembrandt may
(B) the 720 paintings attributed to be Rembrandt’s might
(C) the 720 paintings that were attributed to be by Rembrandt may
(D) the 720 Rembrandt paintings that were once attributed to him might
(E) Rembrandt’s paintings, although 720 were once attributed to him, may

Can someone please explain the difference between may and might?
Also suggest a strategy when to use may and when to use might?

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Re: May vs Might [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2006, 22:39
yogeshsheth wrote:
130. As many as 300 of the 720 paintings attributed to Rembrandt may actually be the works of his students or other admirers.
(A) the 720 paintings attributed to Rembrandt may

(B) the 720 paintings attributed to be Rembrandt’s might

Attributed to is the right idiom, not attributed to be

(C) the 720 paintings that were attributed to be by Rembrandt may
again unidiomatic.

(D) the 720 Rembrandt paintings that were once attributed to him might

Rembrandt paintings creates an adjective.

(E) Rembrandt’s paintings, although 720 were once attributed to him, may

Awkward and wordy.

Can someone please explain the difference between may and might?
Also suggest a strategy when to use may and when to use might?


Yogesh - IMO, may is used to express a wish, might is used to express a likely scenario.

There's a subtle difference.

In the sentence May God bless you -- you wish that God were benevolent enough to bless you.
The jury might pardon you -- you don't have any hold on the outcome - you are just expressing a likelihood.

In some cases may and might can be used interchangeably.

I may do that

I might do that.

In the above question - even though Might was preferable because it's just a speculation, yet because may and might can be used interchangeable to create the same effect - A fits the bill -

all other choices can be ruled without even considering the difference between may and might

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New post 01 Nov 2006, 22:49
Sorry, I can't help with the may-might question, but I don't find anything wrong with A.

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New post 01 Nov 2006, 22:50
Clear A...Other have idiom problem and are wordy..'attributed to' is correct idiom..

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New post 01 Nov 2006, 22:55
arjsingh1976 wrote:
Clear A...Other have idiom problem and are wordy..'attributed to' is correct idiom..


I agree...this was more of a idiom SC for me.

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New post 02 Nov 2006, 00:46
ya. i am for A too.

I don't think may or might matters here.

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New post 02 Nov 2006, 01:05
“mightâ€
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New post 02 Nov 2006, 05:24
"300 of the 720" is idiomatic.

Also,

"might" expresses strong doubt
"may" expresses likelihood

going by these, I would bet on A

:wink:
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New post 03 Nov 2006, 21:11
Betting on A as well

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New post 03 Nov 2006, 21:15
ak_idc wrote:
"300 of the 720" is idiomatic.

Also,

"might" expresses strong doubt
"may" expresses likelihood

going by these, I would bet on A

:wink:


Nice explanation :-D

Agreed on (A). Seriously doubt that GMAT tests solely the subtle differences in meaning between the two modals.

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  [#permalink] 03 Nov 2006, 21:15
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