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May/Might
I Wish I May...

By Evan Jenkins

May have,” as part of a verb, puts the verb in the present perfect tense, and means that at this moment, we’re not sure whether something has happened or not. So sentences like this one don’t say what they mean to: “They knew that if they could have somehow played the first half the way they played the second half, they may have won.” That says it’s still possible that they won. They didn’t, as the sentence makes clear; make it “might have won.”

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Sept / Oct 08

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