Might vs Should: Difference and Comparison

We come across many terms in English. From prepositions to conjunctions.

From words like can, could, should, and would. It’s natural to get confused with similar terms, either sounding the same.

It’s essential to differentiate to make your speech meaningful and accurate. Similarly, two terms like might and should seem quite similar, but it isn’t.

Key Takeaways

  1. Might refers to the possibility or probability of something happening, while it should refer to a recommendation or obligation to do something.
  2. Might is used to expressing uncertainty or doubt, while should is used to give advice or indicate what is considered right.
  3. Might is used in conditional sentences or to express hypothetical situations, while should is used to express expectations or obligations based on social norms or rules.

Might vs Should

The 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 suitable for a thing to be done, we use should.

Might vs Should

The word might is simply a possibility of an event occurring 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. The person is likely to fall ill if we go out in the rain.

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

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonMightShould
DefinitionMight is used to discuss the chances and possibilities of an event or a happening.The word should is used to deal with obligation and deduction. When it’s right to do something, we use should.
Intend‘Might’ wants to believe in a 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, meaning explained in a 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.”

What is Might?

Some words sound pretty alike. However, the differences make them different. Similarly, the term might come into account.

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Knowing the meaning of the word remains essential to dealing with words and conveying a good message to someone.

Might is a modal verb 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 “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 Corbett Park on your Uttarakhand trip”. This symbolises a suggestion.

Might I borrow your book?” This clearly shows the request’s intent.

Some derived terms from might can be mighteous, unmight, might less, mightful, and mighty. Besides modal verbs, it’s also used as Countable and uncountable nouns.

For in the case of the noun, it means the power, force, or strength of a tremendous or 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 suitable, 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 gave advice, talked about obligations, probability and some expectations, replaced a subjunctive method, and expressed a mood based on conditions.

The auxiliary verb ‘should’ is invariable. The main verb is in base form. Examples include “You should see the Latest fashion show happening on the 7th.”

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“You should learn how to swim”.

Should I go to the lake?

Regarding 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 an event or happening that somebody wants to happen, hopes will come true or imagines to occur.

For example, “The President insists that the Governor 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 situation, while the word should mean to suggest someone or something.
  2. The intent might remain to draw possibility. The plan should remain to attract advice.
  3. Might is the past form of the word May while should is the past tense of shall.
  4. It might sound quite a warning when we use some phrase when the first part is not going to happen, but it should sound appropriate or correct.
  5. An example of the word might be, “You might get Ill if you go outside while raining. For example, “You should eat an apple daily to remain fit and fresh all day.”
Difference Between Might and Should
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0010027783900124
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/74/1/68/

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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23 thoughts on “Might vs Should: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The explanations in the article are crystal clear, making it easy to understand the difference between ‘might’ and ‘should’.

  2. A very informative article that meticulously dissects the meanings and applications of ‘might’ and ‘should’.

  3. The article effectively sheds light on the variations in usage of ‘might’ and ‘should’, which is essential for proper communication.

  4. The explanations for both ‘might’ and ‘should’ are incredibly helpful for anyone striving to achieve accuracy in their speech.

  5. The detailed explanation of ‘might’ and ‘should’ is excellent. It’s very beneficial for learners of English.


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