Taniaa said:grazie a tutti... ma continuo ad essere confusa... spero questo non vi faccia arrabbiare. ho capito la sottile distinzione fra can/may. Ma nel caso della forma might/could vale la stessa 'regola'?
moodywop said:Per semplificare:
Quando "could" vuol dire "ero in grado di" non può essere sostituito da "might":
When I was young I could play football like a pro
Lo stesso vale quando vuol dire "mi era permesso":
My parents were not very strict. When I was a teenager I could(was allowed to) stay out very late
E nelle richieste:
Could you help me please?
"Might" indica solo "possibilità" ma in questo caso spesso va bene anche "could":
We might(could) win the cup
You might(could) have told me!
carrickp said:Sorry, Carlo, we crossed in the mail. I spend so much time trying to figure out this stuff that by the time I have posted my answer several brighter folks already have responded.
The more responses the better! For instance, Panpan's mention of "would be able to" made me realize that I left out "might" vs "could" in reported speech, which can be quite tricky for us Italians. Can you tell me if the following examples make sense?
He said he couldn't come to the party (ha detto che non sarebbe potuto venire)
Can this refer both to a party that's already taken place and to a future party? That is correct. For the past, though, we'd perhaps be slightly more apt to say, "He said he didn't come to the party because . . ." But both are correct grammatically and in terms of usage.
He said he might not come to the party.
I guess this can only mean Ha detto che forse non sarebbe venuto alla festa I agree with you on this as well. You continue to speak better English than we Americans.
Solitamente si associa:
May = Permission
Could = Possibility
Can = Ability
Might = ?
Cosa assocereste a Might? Forse un diverso grado di possibilità?
I am not completely sure but I think 'might' can be used in many more situations than the others. It is both possibility and permission. Maybe these examples will help."I might go to the park" = maybe I will go to the park"I may go to the park" = maybe I will go to the park"I could go the park" = if i want, it is possible to go to the park"I can go the park" = it is possible for me to go to the park
Eccellente contributo lsp! Grazie.
Riguardo alle frasi con IF, might è solitamente associato ad un simple present, erro?
If you do X, you might do Y.
If you do X, you will do Y.
Gli esempi sono molto buoni! Grazie
Nel caso (1) might e (2) may... da cosa dipende l' andare al parco? Quale è più probabile? Io suppongo "may", erro?
Pertanto anche: It's better to phone first, because they could be out è altrettanto corretta. Seppure esprima un diverso grado probabilità.
'May I see it?' is present tense surely? So the present subjunctive, which, at least so far as I have been taught is required (given that it will not always be used in the spoken language) following 'if', should use 'might', e.g. 'if I might see it'.Panpan,
Re:" If I might be able to see it' - present subjunctive (Se io possa vederlo)
There's no reason for a present subjunctive in this sentence, possibly an imperfect subjunctive (as the protasis of a hypothetical conditional sentence, possibly with its apodosis suppressed)
Yes they are, and they include statements of uncertainty. You don't know whether he will take it or not. To put it the other way round, how else would you translate 'gli ho detto che potesse prenderlo' into English? (You are talking about permission, not ability).Re:" 'I told him that he might take it' - I'm not sure if this is past imperfect tense (Gli ho detto che poteva prenderlo), or past subjunctive tense (gli ho detto che potesse prenderlo)"
No reason here for any subjunctive that I can see.
Reasons for Italian subjunctives are very specific.
'I told him that he might take it' - I'm not sure if this is past imperfect tense (Gli ho detto che poteva prenderlo), or past subjunctive tense (gli ho detto che potesse prenderlo)
Re:"Se io possa vederlo".
I'm open to correction, of course, but I know of no possibility for a present subjunctive in a "se" clause
Re:"I told him that he might take it" (=he was permitted to take it)
Gli ho detto che poteva prenderlo
What I told him was, I suggest, in no way less than 100% definite, clear and factual: "You may (i.e. are permitted to) take it.
No reason for a subjunctive in this meaning.
Just a word of caution with 'could'. It means two different things in English.
If the sentance is simple past, it means the imperfect of potere, i.e. potevo/ poteva/ potevi etc. If it is not past tense, it means the conditional of potere, e.g. potrei, potrebbe, potresti etc.
With may/ might, I always thought that 'might' was the conditional of 'may', but on reading the above I am no longer sure. Thinking about it, 'might' is sometimes used as the subjunctive of 'may';
May have permission to speak? (Use of 'may' for requesting permission)
I wonder if I might be permitted to speak? (Speculating about the possibility of permission)
Hope it helps
Yes You are right but I included the Italian phrases actually...