Студопедия — В отношении будущего употребляется с простым инфинитивом от глаголов, выражающих действие.
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В отношении будущего употребляется с простым инфинитивом от глаголов, выражающих действие.

He may come tomorrow. Возможно, он придет завтра.
He may write to us. Он, возможно, напишет нам.
They may return soon. Они, возможно (может быть), скоро возвратятся.
В любом предложении здесь may можно заменить на might, что будет означать еще меньшую степень уверенности говорящего в предположении. В русском языке нет подобного средства и перевод будет звучать одинаково (если не прибегать к дополнительным ухищрениям).
We might return on Monday. Мы, возможно (может быть), вернемся в понедельник.

may/might (not)+ Perfect Infinitive выражает действие, относящееся к прошлому:

I may have put it on the table. Может быть, я положил его на стол.
She may have left. Может быть, она уже уехала.


Exercise 1. Translate the following sentences with the modal verb may denoting the meaning.

1. It was now indeed that I felt that I might faint. 2. There is still the chance that Dr Hall may be able to tell us something. 3. Referring to your advertisement in this morning paper, I may be able to be of some use to you. 4. "The agent who made the report may help them," William went on quickly. 5. Mrs. Fortescue will certainly be in to dinner and she may be in to tea. 6. As you may imagine, I am utterly astonished. 7. You may confidently expect to hear it again. 8. "And about the funeral", he said softly, "I may ar­range that — as your dear father's old friend and yours, Miss Pinner — and Miss Constantia?" 9. I have not regarded each man as an end in himself, but as material that might be useful to me as a writ­er. 10. His communication is universal and though men may not be able to tell exactly what it signifies they feel that it is important. 11. Net­tie Pimm said that Nicholas had come home and she might meet him at any street corner. 12. I saved you last night. I may not be able to save you again. 13. I was mistaken in the view I took. We all may make mistakes. 14. Mrs. Fortescue may return any minute, and so may Mrs. Val. 15. However, it may still not be too late. 16. He might have gone — anywhere. He may even have gone back to London.

Exercise 2. Translate the following sentences with the modal verb may denoting permission or prohibition.

1. "May I ask you a question, Dr Glazer?" — "Please do." 2. "May I use your telephone?" — "No, you may not." 3. You may leave this little matter entirely to me, Mr. Wooster. 4. I felt much more comfortable. I sipped my tea, leaned back, and even asked if I might smoke. 5. He gath­ered all his strength and stammered: "Miss Barlow — may I see you home?" 6. "We might as well sit down," said Julius, when he had introduced all his guests to each other. 7. Might I, dear Miss Worsley, as you are standing up, ask you for my cot­ton that is just behind you? Thank you. 8. "Ex­cuse me," he said. "But may I speak to you for a mo­ment?" 9. "You might cut me a slice of that bread, mother," said Stanley. "I've only twenty and a half minutes before the coach passes." 10. May I have the pleasure of escorting you to the music room, Mademoiselle? 11. Mr. Tuskin, may I see you a minute, please? 12. I thought she was going to discuss the play... but instead she said: "May I ask the obvious question? How's it go­ing?" 13. "May I call you George?" said An­tonia. 14. "Good evening, Alice," said Axel. "May I present my wife?" 15. Lady Chiltern: "I may come with you, Robert, may I not?" Sir Rob­ert: "Yes, Gertrude." 16. He can stay on a few more days here and then you can talk to him as much as you like, but you may not talk to him today.

Exercise 3. Translate the following sentences with the modal verb may denoting supposition.

1. There may be some slight unpleasantness. 2. He really is very late. It is absurd to think he may have got drowned. 3. "It is not possible that you may have overlooked it?" — "You can't over­look a thing like that." 4. But don't you think, Mrs. Cream, that it may be just your imagination? 5. I may be very stupid, but I don't seem to be able to understand what you are saying. 6. She might hope to create the illusion that he was merely running for a bus. 7. "Is he likely to come again?" — "He might. I really don't know." 8. "He might have slipped out", — suggested Julius. 9. Constance: "Of course he may be terribly changed. Men go off so dreadfully, don't they? They may be bald and fat now." 10. You think Mr. Brown might come along and take a hand! 11. She might be in my sitting-room. 12. They may have left something behind them that will be a clue. 13. There may be things that you know which I do not. 14. She might have read my mind saying "I'll cook tonight." 15. … but all this time he may be dying, and when we get there it may be too late to do anything.

Exercise 4. State the meaning of the verb may in the fol­lowing sentences. Translate them into Russian.

1. Bernard: "May I make you a short speech?" Con­stance: "If I may interrupt at suitable moments." 2. "May I ask you something very personal?" I heard myself say suddenly. 3. I think I may be of some use of you. 4. I had an idea that he might be able to do something. 5. It might be years before all was forgiven and forgotten. 6. They might have left the village altogether. 7. May I speak frankly? 8. I suppose he might have hidden himself somewhere. 9. This may have been the truth, but her blood raced as if it were a lie. 10. He may have gone for a walk as he says he did and have come back again, or may just have waited for Althea Graham to return. 11. There are a dozen other explanations for that. He may have stepped out on the terrace for a moment — or may not have heard me — or he may even have been asleep. 12. Your other suggestion that these harmful ideas may originate in the Empire, may or may not be correct. 13. I might even suggest that you are laying too much stress on this point merely that your curiosity might be satisfied. 14. Time was short; at any moment Axel might return from Rye. 15. May we come to your house in about an hour's time?

Exercise 5. Translate the following sentences paying atten­tion to the form of the infinitive after the modal verb may.

1. Tommy appreciated her quick wittedness in re­alizing that he might be staying at the inn under an assumed name. 2. Yet might not they be con­cealing, knowingly of unknowingly, just as he would conceal if anyone had tried to pump him? 3. It was awful to think he might be driven back to hack-writing to keep himself until the book came out. 4. Josephine closed the door meaningly, "Sit down, Constantia," she said, still very grand. She might have been receiving Constantia for the first time. 5. Cheapside was so crowded he might have been walking against an emerging football crowd. 6. Well, Phyllis didn't write all those stories, but she easily might have done, for that's the way her mind works. 7. His career might well have served as a model for any young man entering upon the pursuit of literature. 8. He might be slow but he was very sure. 9. It might arouse suspicion if you did not stay out till the usual time. 10. She may have been speaking the truth, I don't know. 11. I don't know! I swear to you I don't know! It might have been him or it might have been the other fellow. 12. If young Victor had once been told to get out of his mess by himself it might have been the making of him. 13. What you need on these occasions is entertaining compa­ny, so that your dark thoughts may be diverted. 14. She was looking for a pullover belonging to her pupil Miss Angela Warren, sister of Mrs. Crale, which the latter had mislaid down on the beech. 15. He looked embarrassed, and it occurred to me that he might have been listening at the door.


Exercise 6. Use the proper form of the infinitive in brackets.

1. On the last morning, on their way to breakfast... she had been asked by the head chambermaid if the room might (to clean). 2. They might sud­denly (to walk) through the wall by mistake into a different flat altogether. 3. "I had better pull up a blind," said Josephine bravely. "Yes, it might (to be) a good idea," whispered Constantia. 4. He might (to watch) you all the time. 5.... they might by now (to find) the boy. 6. I hate the thought that I may (to be) unhappy, 7. I may (to mean) what I said at the time, but only for about five minutes. 8. On Friday letters might (to expect) to arrive at Tommy's rooms. 9. The thing may (to come) out in hundreds of ways since Antonia's own revelation. 10. I said, "I'm Martin Lynch Gibbon. We have met be­fore though you may (to forget). Palmer asked me to meet you. May I (to carry) something?" 11. "I may (to counsel) you in so many words to leave the studio while you could still do so." 12. It was stupid of him to hurry because he might (to rush) towards the spot where the next explosion would oc­cur. 13. Her earlier terror deepened as she considered for the first time what might (to happen) if she lost her job. 14. Marie-Louise: "He never came in to say good morning to me before he went to the city." John: "He may (to be) in a hurry." 15. Possibly she may (to bring up) badly — but that's the only excuse I can find for her.

Exercise 7. Use may or might.

1. You'll waste your strength uselessly. It _______ sound harsh, but my advice to you is: cut your losses. 2. I saw the light on and I thought it _______ be my brother. 3. It was me who thought it _______ be possible. 4. I was hoping I _______ run into you. 5. The boy's father asked if he _______ keep the sketch. 6. I was a little puzzled, but at all events I understood that I _______ leave. 7. It was obvious that I _______ have found excuses without affront to refuse Roy's invitation, though he was a determined fellow. 8. It was conceivable that Jacqueline _______ agree now that her mother needed her. 9. They _______ laugh at us a bit — the way we talk and the way we dress; our monocles — they _______ think us cliquey and stand-offish, but, by God, they respect us. 10. But just as the waitress turned away she cried out carelessly, "Oh, you _______ as well bring me a chocolate, too." 11. "Good-bye, young man, and just remember what I've been say­ing, I _______ look like an old buffer but I know what I'm talking about." 12. I thought we _______ as well do ourselves comfortably, and we don't want other people butting in, do we? 13. I thought Henry _______ have been a bit impatient with this. 14. I dont want to tell you — not now. I _______ be wrong, but I don't think so. 15. After lunch I asked if we _______ have a private conversation. And so we did. 16. He thought he _______ drop in again before closing time. 17. The two events _______ have nothing to do with one another, or there _______ be some connection. 18. It is too much to expect that anyone _______ be found who can speak with equal compe­tence in all the arts. 19. Unless you object, I thought we _______ leave on Monday morning. If the roads are not too disgraceful we’ll reach Rye on Wednesday night. 20. By the time the road was clear they had completely disappeared. I thought they _______ have gone into the cafe, so I went in, but I couldn't see them.


Exercise 8. Paraphrase the sentences using the modal verb may where possible.

1. Perhaps he had been looking up too much, the way the farmers of the Kansas plains squinted into the sun, achieving little from their search except per­manently half-closed lids. 2. Perhaps they were sim­ply a part of the legend of the old West. 3. "Maybe they're closer to him than you are," observed Frances, not meaning to be sarcastic. 4. Well, if you'll allow me to say it, the fault is all mine. 5. Do I have your permission to go upstairs to what used to be our bed­room? 6. "The hospital was scarcely likely to send out a press release about you," the doctor said drily. 7. Perhaps you are turning into a blue stocking after all. 8. Perhaps that will be the best plan. It would be unnecessary to have two cars waiting about. 9. It is unlikely that the history of English literature will give them more than a passing glance. 10. Because he is a doctor this information is unlikely to be either complete or accurate. 11. It is unlikely that the dra­matist who is lucky enough to have been born with the faculty of putting thing so that they carry across the footlights will also be an original thinker. 12. What we have done is no likely to be forgotten. 13. Blunt-schli: "Where's the other young lady?" Raina: "Lis­tening at the door, probably." 14. Perhaps the card was someone's idea of a joke?


Exercise 9. Change the following sentences using the modal verb may (asking for permission).

Example: Do you mind my closing the window? May I close the window?

1. Do you mind my using your dictionary for a minute? 2. Do you mind my coming later tomorrow? 3. Do you mind our coming again tomorrow? 4. Do you mind his leaving just now? 5. Do you mind our joining to the cinema with you? 6. Do you mind her leaning us on our trip? 7. Do you mind my asking you a question? 8. Do you mind his helping us? 9. Do you mind my smoking here? 10. Do you mind my speak­ing to your sister for a minute?


Exercise 10. Read the following sentences. Comment on them using the verb may and the proper form of the infini­tive. Give as many different suggestions as you can.

Example: Peter is absent from the lesson. A: He may be late. B: He may have fallen ill. C: He may have overslept. D: His alarm clock may have stopped.


1. He refused to go to the country with us. 2. Helen is going to invite us to her birthday party on Sunday. 3. I can't find my glasses. 4. Peter is running high tem­perature. 5. The child is nowhere to be found. 6. Mary failed to catch the train. 7. Peter succeeded in pass­ing all the examinations well. 8. There'd be popular music and singing and dancing in our club. 9. We are going to see the sights of Moscow tonight. 10. The sooner you start, the sooner you finish. 11. I worried that the children had not returned from the forest yet. 12. The passengers were glad to leave the ship and go on the shore. 13. Mary practices the piano two hours a day. 14. Let's hope it won't rain tomorrow.


Exercise 11. Complete the following sentences.

1. It may be fun for her but... 2. You may be right.... 3. It may upset me.... 4. I may be wrong but… 5. You may as well ask.... 6. You may expect.... 7. He might so easily have got the idea that.... 8. I have a feeling that I may be able to.... 9. When she spoke her voice was dry. She might have been.... 10. You may possibly not believe me, but.... 11. It's all very well to laugh, but I feel there may be.... 12. You may have heard… 13. You may have been joking… 14. It may still not be too late… 15. It may arouse suspicion… 16. It may seem a little improbable but… 17. As you may imagine... 18. I may not be able…


Exercise 12. Complete the sentences using the modal verb may.

1. Don't you think that … 2. The sky is covered with dark clouds… 3. I saw the light in your win­dow and thought.... 4. The boy asked.... 5. It is too much to expect that.... 6. Your suggestion is reason­able enough.... 7. I thought you.... 8. A storm, he thought.... 9. She was in the house at the time, she.... 10. He was astonished at his own anger. He.... 11. He thought that.... 12. It was I who believed that he.... 13. The student who made the report… 14. I sup­pose, he … 15. After lunch I asked if we…


Exercise 13. Make up short dialogues with the following sentences.

1. I was afraid someone might believe her. 2. I thought you might find it uncomfortable to remain on here. 3. We may go part of the way together. 4. It may turn out a serious business.

5. He may not have said it to his mother. 6. What is your idea? Will you tell me? I fancy I may help you somehow. 7. It seems to me you may be one of the people who make dull subjects sound exciting. 8. I fancy that she might have information that would help him. 9. You might, perhaps, be a year or two older than I, no more. 10. I may think you have a certain idea. 11. Any one might have done it. 12. He might have gone up to town that day. 13. I don't know. I hoped you might. 14. I was sure you might have known about it. 15. As you may imagine, I am utterly astonished. 16. May I give you a lift? 17. He may be able to tell us something. 18. May I see you a minute, please? 19. May I speak to you for a moment?


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