American English

Definition of might modal verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



     modal verb
    modal verb
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  1. 1used as the past tense of may when reporting what someone has said He said he might come tomorrow.
  2. 2used when showing that something is or was possible He might get there in time, but I can't be sure. I know Vicky doesn't like the job, but I might not find it too bad. The pills might have helped him, if only he'd taken them regularly. He might say that now (= it is true that he does), but he'll probably change his mind.
  3. 3used to make a polite suggestion You might try calling the help desk. I thought we might go to the zoo on Saturday.
  4. 4(formal) used to ask for information How might we improve the plans? And who might she be?
  5. 5used to show that you are annoyed about something that someone could do or could have done I think you might at least offer to help! Honestly, you might have told me!
  6. 6used to say that you are not surprised by something I might have guessed it was you!
  7. 7used to emphasize that an important point has been made “And where is the money coming from?” “You might well ask!” Grammarmodal verbsThe modal verbs are can, could, may, might, must, ought to, shall, should, will, and would. Dare, need, have to, and used to also share some of the features of modal verbs.Modal verbs have only one form. They have no past or present participles and do not add -s to the 3rd person singular form:He can speak three languages. She will try and visit tomorrow.Modal verbs are followed by the infinitive of another verb without to. The exceptions are ought to and used to:You must find a job. You ought to stop smoking. I used to smoke, but I quit two years ago.Questions are formed without do/does in the present or did in the past:Can I invite Mary? Should I have invited Mary?Negative sentences are formed with not or the short form -n’t and do not use do/does or did:You shouldn't invite Mary. The error will not have affected our results.You will find more help with how to use modal verbs at the dictionary entries for each verb.
  8. Idioms
    may/might (just) as well do something
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    to do something because it seems best in the situation that you are in, although you may not really want to do it If no one else wants it, we might as well give it to him.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: might