Posts Tagged ‘possibility’

Talking about complete possibility

December 12th, 2012 in English Grammar

The auxiliary verbs that can be used to express complete certainty are shall, will, can, could and must.

  • There is the phone. That will be Ram.
  • I shall come tomorrow. OR I will come tomorrow. (Both shall and will can be used with I and we. There is no difference in meaning.)
  • He will come.
  • It will rain this evening.
  • It won’t rain this evening.
  • There is the doorbell. Who can it be? Well it can’t be James – He is in Delhi.
  • You must be tired. I will get you something to drink.
  • I will buy a car if I get my rise.
  • She will come if you invite her.

Expressing probability and possibility

We can use the auxiliary verbs should, ought, may and might to talk about possibility and probability.

  • She should be here soon.
  • She may come.
  • It may rain this evening.
  • We may go camping next week.
  • She ought to know better.
  • I may buy a car.
  • You should be able to solve the problem.
  • She may buy that house.
  • I should be able to finish this job by Monday.


Might shows less possibility than may.

  • She might come. (Perhaps a 20% chance)
  • She may come. (Perhaps a 50% chance)