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# May vs Might

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Senior Manager
Joined: 01 Oct 2006
Posts: 486

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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 Rembrandtâ€™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) Rembrandtâ€™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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VP
Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 1295
Schools: Wharton (R2 - submitted); HBS (R2 - submitted); IIMA (admitted for 1 year PGPX)

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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 Rembrandtâ€™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

(E) Rembrandtâ€™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
Director
Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 796
GMAT 1: 740 Q48 V42

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01 Nov 2006, 22:49
Sorry, I can't help with the may-might question, but I don't find anything wrong with A.
Senior Manager
Joined: 17 Oct 2006
Posts: 405

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01 Nov 2006, 22:50
Clear A...Other have idiom problem and are wordy..'attributed to' is correct idiom..
Manager
Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Posts: 156

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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.
VP
Joined: 25 Jun 2006
Posts: 1089

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

I don't think may or might matters here.
Director
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 685
Location: Dallas, Texas

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02 Nov 2006, 01:05
â€œmightâ€
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Director
Joined: 21 Aug 2006
Posts: 947

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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

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Manager
Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 82

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03 Nov 2006, 21:11
Betting on A as well
GMAT Club Legend
Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 5025

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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

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

--== Message from the GMAT Club Team ==--

THERE IS LIKELY A BETTER DISCUSSION OF THIS EXACT QUESTION.
This discussion does not meet community quality standards. It has been retired.

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&nbs [#permalink] 03 Nov 2006, 21:15
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