Difference Between Might and Should (With Table)

We often come across many terms in English. From prepositions to conjunctions. From words like can, could to might, should, would. It’s natural to get confused with similar terms, either sounding the same. It’s important to differentiate to make your speech meaningful and accurate. Similarly, two terms like might and should seems quite similar, but it isn’t.

Might vs Should

The main difference between might and should is that ‘might’ is used to talk about the chance or the possibilities of an event to happen or occur while should is used to deal with obligations and deduction. When it sounds good or right for a thing to be done, we use should.

The word might is simply a possibility of an event to occur in time. For example, “You might get sick if you go in the rain.” Here this sentence is more like an event that can occur. There are chances of the person to fall ill if we go out in the rain.

The word should is more like an event that you suggest or advise someone about something. For example, “You should drink enough water to remain hydrated”. Here the word means that the suggestion that has mentioned is a piece of advice, and the person should look upon it.

Comparison Table Between Might and Should

Parameters Of ComparisonMightShould
DefinitionMight is used to talking about the chances and possibilities of an event or a happening to occur.The word should is used to deal with obligation and deduction. When it’s right to do something, we use should.
Intend‘Might’ intends to believe in slight possibility.‘Should’ intends to suggest a piece of advice.
FormMight is the past form of the word may.Should is the past form of shall.
First useMight is believed to be used first before the 12th century.Should is believed to be used first in the 12th century, in meaning explained at sense 1.
Example“The athlete standing on 4th track might win, but I’m not sure.”“You should win the race to become the best among the rest.”

What is Might?

Some words sound quite alike. However, the differences make them different. Similarly, the word might come into account. It remains important and necessary to know the real meaning of the word to deal with words and conveying a proper message to someone.

The word Might is a modal verb and is often used to express the likeliness of an event or happening to happen. It’s also used in conditional statements. The meanings of the word might vary according to the usage and the need.

Some examples can be like “Your hairdryer might be in my closet”. This reveals the possibility of something.

“If I am free and got no work, I might spend time with you”. This statement is a conditional sentence. “You might visit the Corbett Park on your Uttarakhand trip”. This symbolises a suggestion. “Might I borrow your book?” This clearly shows the request intends.

Some derived terms from might can be mighteous, unmight, mightless, mightful, mighty. Besides modal verb, it’s also used as noun, Countable and uncountable noun. For in the case of the noun, it means the power, force, or strength of a great or a supreme type. Also, it could be physical strength.

What is Should?

When you suggest a piece of advice or let them know something appropriate or right, we use ‘should.’ The word should mean to say something right and correct for somebody to do or entertain something, or for something to happen. Its usage also extends to suggest someone about something.

Should is an auxiliary verb. To be precise, it’s a modal auxiliary verb. We mainly used to give advice, talk about obligations, talk about probability and some expectations, replace a subjunctive method, express a mood based on conditions.

The auxiliary verb ‘should’ be invariable. The main verb is usually in base form. Some examples can be “You should see the Latest fashion show happening on the 7th.”

“You should learn how to swim”.

“Should I go to the lake?”

If we talk about conditional statements, it could be used as in “If I lose my train, I should go by foot”. This reveals that if the first part doesn’t get executed, the second part will come true. Talking about the pseudo subjunctive, it’s used to mean that event or happening that somebody wants it to happen, hopes will come true or imagines to occur. For example, “The President insists that the Governor should attend the Workshop”. This insisting way shows eagerness to an extent.

Main Differences Between Might and Should

  1. The word might is used to express an event or a situation to happen while the word should mean to suggest someone something
  2. The intend of might remains to draw possibility. The intend should remains to draw advice.
  3. Might is the past form of the word May while should is the past tense of the word shall.
  4. Might sound quite a warning thing when we use some phrase when the first part is not going to happen but should sound appropriate or correct.
  5. An example of the word might can be “You might get Ill if you go outside while raining. An example of should can be “You should eat an apple a day to remain fit and fresh all day.”

Conclusion

There are enormous words out there. The languages have evolved. So the words of English are. These words containing a heavy meaning in them. Words like can, could, might, should, would ought, and many others. It is important to know where to use which one.

If we have a great understanding and knowledge about words like might and should, it can convey the meaning in one go. Even grammatical mistakes are likely to happen but knowing the usage at the right place, You can easily go smoothly.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0010027783900124
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/74/1/68/
x
Noun vs Verb video