Two Minute English

Use of "may" and "may not"

In this video we learn about the use of 'May' and 'May not'. Listen to the conversations and understand where to use these phrases and then practice at the end to build up your fluency.

In this lesson, we will learn about the use of May and May not.

Going to the grocery store

Sue : I may not go to the grocery store today.

John : Does that mean you are not going?

Sue : I mean that I am not sure if I will go to the grocery store today, but I might.

John : So you are going?

Sue : As I said, I am thinking about it. I will decide later.

Winning the football game

Ed : Do you think that our college team will win the football game?

John : They may not.

Ed : Do you think they will lose the game then?

John : I mean that I am not sure if they will win the game. Our team is good, but the other team is good as well.

Ed : I think we will win the game.

John : I hope you are right.

Will you go on the trip

Sue : I may go on a trip to Ireland next year.

John : You may? You are not sure?

Sue : I have to save enough money to go.

John : If you save enough money, will you go?

Sue : I think so. I will go if I can save enough money; I won't go if I don't save enough money. It all depends.

Taking a Nap

John : I may not be able to take a nap today.

Sue : Why not?

John : One of my friends may come over today and if she does I won't take a nap.

Sue : You aren't sure whether she'll come?

John : No, she told me she'll come if she can.

Permission to go the washroom

John : May I go to the washroom please?

Sue : No John, you must wait till the class is over.

John : But I need to go urgently.

Sue : There're only 10 minutes left.

John : Okay, but I may not be able to hold and there may be a puddle on your floor.

Sue : Please go immediately.

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