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may

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See also May, and mấy

English

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Old English magan, from Germanic. Cognate with Dutch mogen, German mögen, Icelandic mega.

Verb

Infinitive
-

Third person singular
may

Simple past
might

Past participle
-

Present participle
-

- (third-person singular simple present may, present participle -, simple past might, past participle -)
  1. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) To have permission to. Used in granting permission and in questions to make polite requests.
    You may smoke outside.
    May I sit there?
  2. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Possibly, but not certainly.
    He may be lying.
  3. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Expressing something that is possibly true.
    come what may
Usage notes
  • May is a defective verb. It has no infinitive, past participle and no future tense. Forms of to be allowed to are used to replace these missing tenses.
  • The simple past (both indicative and subjunctive) of may is might
  • The present tense is negated as may not, which can be contracted to mayn't, although this is old-fashioned; the simple past is negated as might not, which can be contracted to mightn't.
  • May has archaic second-person singular present indicative forms mayest and mayst.
  • Usage of this word in the sense of possibly is considered incorrect by some speakers and writers, as it blurs the meaning of the word in the sense have permission to. These speakers and writers prefer to use the word might instead.
Synonyms
Derived terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2

French mai, so called because it blossoms in May.

Noun

Singular
may

Plural
{{{1}}}

may ({{{1}}})
  1. The hawthorn bush or its blossoms.
Derived terms
Translations

Crimean Tatar

Noun

may

  1. butter, oil

Declension

Synonyms


Kurdish

Noun

may m.

  1. intervention

Derived terms


Tagalog

Verb

may

  1. there is

Tatar

Alternative spellings

Noun

may

  1. May

Declension

Nominative
may
Genitive
maynıñ
Dative
mayga
Accusative
maynı
Locative
mayda
Ablative
maydan

Elsewhere on the web

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