may

From Wiktionary
Jump to: navigation, search
Bnc1.png
may is one of the 1000 most common headwords.
may
See also May

Pronunciation[change]

Verb[change]

Simple present
may

Simple past
might

Negative
none

  1. (modal) To be allowed to; to have permission to do something
    "May I sit here?" "Yes, go ahead. The seat is empty."
    You may not smoke, this area is "no smoking".
  2. (modal) If you say something may happen or may be true, you mean there is a chance that it is true.
    He may be lying, but I'm not sure.
    It may rain today.

Usage[change]

May is a modal auxiliary verb.

  • It is followed by a verb in the plain form.
    • For example, you say, "He may go to the store."
    • You do NOT say "He may goes/went/going/to go to the store."
  • It is not used with other modal verbs.
    • For example, you say, "You will be allowed to use the car tonight."
    • You do NOT say "You will may use the car tonight."