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May you - might you?

Discussion in 'English' started by BristolLanguages, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. BristolLanguages

    BristolLanguages New commenter

    It sounds horrible to me, but, English experts, it it incorrect, correct but archaic...

    I have already come across two people using these on serious office emails, one pretty young and the other over 50... people I have asked about this say you hear it more now, is is a trend?

    Examples of usage I have encountered:

    May you call Mr X back ?
    Might you add this name to the list?
  2. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    I often use ‘might you’ as a preface to asking people who are likely to refuse to do something to actually do something. Less pushy than ‘shouldn't you’, but I have never used ‘may you.’ I may or might not in the future!
  3. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    "May you call..." sounds like a hypercorrection for "Can you call..."

    "Could you call..." would be a reasonable alternative .
    peter12171 likes this.
  4. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    I prefer 'Please would you...'
    peter12171 and ViolaClef like this.
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    In my experience -

    Its more 'May I go?' and in a question format. If an answer its: 'Yes you may go'.

    Its more 'I/You might go ..' The pronoun before the 'might'.
  6. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    It should be:

    Would you call Mr X back?
    Would you add this name to the list?
  7. Sir Cumference

    Sir Cumference Occasional commenter

    Surely 'may' is always followed by 'I' in a query. I can only think of 'May you...' as something you might hear in church as a statement, not a question eg 'May you find peace'
    VeronicAmb and peter12171 like this.

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