Difference Between Might and Would (With Table)

Verbs are an important part of English Grammar. Verbs are simply known as action words that talk about what is done by the object in the given statement. For example – Sing, Dance, Cooking, Playing, Run, etc., are the verbs. Within the types of verbs comes model auxiliary verbs, which are used as helping verbs in any statement. They help to indicate when and how the action took place.

Might vs Would

The difference between Might and Would is that Might is used to expressing any possibility of something, while contrasting Would is used to determine the accuracy of the task, any wish or desire, or any intention behind something. Both the above terms Might and Would are used to make conditional verbs.

Might is said to be the past form of the verb ‘May’. It is used to make any formal or seeking polite permission. It is used to measure the possibility of any work or task done. It is also used to express any two different possibilities. For example – If I Might ask something about the school project?

Would is an auxiliary word and is used to denote something which has occurred in the past or future in the past. The term is used to express many things such as – desires, ability, the willingness of doing something, certainty, etc. For example – I knew that Mike would not make up to the show.

Comparison Table Between Might and Would

Parameters of ComparisonMightWould
ExpressesSuggestions, Request, PossibilityWish, Willingness, Intention
Past Tense MayWill
Origin Meahte or MihteWolde
Implication It implies something may or may not.It implies that something will surely happen.
ExampleI might not come tomorrow to school.We would go to watch movies tomorrow.

What is Might?

This modal auxiliary verb is used to express mainly any formal or polite permissions. It articulates any unlikely possibility or something which may or may not going to happen. Might is the past form of ‘May’ and can be used in all the three tenses statements, i.e. Present, Past, or Future. 

The term Might was originally originated from the Old English word ‘Meahte’ or ‘Mihte’. It also communicates about the two possibilities at a time. Below are some different situations where the term ‘Might’ can be used – 

While expressing Possibility – When any possibility is talked about, it gives certainty in a statement about any likely or unlikely situation. For example –

  • I am hoping that she might have received the parcel yet.
  • We might attend the party tomorrow.

While asking for any Permissions – May is used as the standard word for any permissions, but by using might, it emphasizes more and makes it more polite and formal. Consider the following example – 

  • Maa, I am hoping if I might go to the movie tomorrow?
  • I wonder If we might invite Sara for tomorrow’s night sleepover?

Expressing Suggestions – Might is used to giving suggestions to someone. It is expressed indirectly and gives a possible action or unlike action. Consider the following given example below – 

  • I thought you might like the movie, so I bought a CD for you.
  • Might you come along with me to next week’s trip?

While commenting on two different opinions – It may be used to give two different contrary statements at a given time explained as below – 

  • We might run a small business, but our customers are very satisfied with the service.
  • might not have much time, but I will be grateful for helping you with your studies this weekend.

What is Would?

The term Would is also a modal auxiliary verb that helps emphasize the action of the object. The term is used mostly to talk about the past or any future in the past tense. It is a past tense form of the word ‘Will’.

The origin of the word Would is from the Old English word know to be ‘Wolde’. It talks about something with certainty, wishes, desires, and willingness.

The structure of the formation of a statement by using Would is – Subject + Auxiliary Verb ‘Would’ + Main Verb. Consider the given an example for better understanding – He would not go. It is a negative statement where He is the subject, would the auxiliary verb, and go is the main verb.

Here are given below some more examples for different situations –

  • Sarah knew that she would not be able to make it up to the party. (Future Tense in the past)
  • This mixer would not turn on this morning. (Willingness)
  • Would you please clean your room today? (Requests)
  • Would you like a cup of coffee? (Desires)

Main Differences Between Might and Would

  1. The term Might is used to express any suggestions, possibility, or request to someone, whereas the term Would is used to express any wish, willingness towards something, or any intention behind something.
  2. The term Might is the past form of the verb ‘May’, whereas the term Would is the past form of the verb ‘Will’.
  3. The term Might is originated from the Old English word called ‘Meahte’ or ‘Mihte’, whereas Would is originated from the Old English word known as ‘Wolde’.
  4. The implication of the word Might is used when the event or task may or may not happen, while the word Would is used when an event or task or work is surely going to takes place. 
  5. Example for Might – The results for the test might come today. 
  6. Example for Would – I would surely love to attend your sister’s birthday party tomorrow. 

Conclusion

Modal Auxiliary Verbs are verbs that enhance the effect of the context of the verb in any statement. They indicate any obligation, willingness, desires, possibility, assumption, etc., in any statement. The many examples of modal verbs are – may, shall, will, would, might, can, could, must, etc.

The terms Might and Would are also an important part of auxiliary verbs which helps in indicating any possibility, request, or suggestion while, on the other hand, expresses wishes, desires, somewhat accuracy, etc.

The two words were originated from Old English words, Might be originated from Meahte while Would originate from the word ‘Wolde’. Both the terms are the past tense of their verb forms.

References

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167293196003
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02295996
  3. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1992-41453-001
  4. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1992-41453-001
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