First, what does the sentence below mean?

He may not have been far wrong

Second, why do we use have rather than has?

  • "may" is what is called a modal verb, the verb that follows is in the infinitive (without the "to") He may be late; He may visit his relatives etc. In your sentence, the tense is in the present perfect, i.e have been. I/you/he/we/they may have been late; I (etc.) may have visited my relatives – Mari-Lou A Nov 24 '14 at 7:31
  • Is this a real question? This is a question asked in Mathematics/logic test. – Blessed Geek Nov 24 '14 at 7:52
  • What does it mean the sentence "He may not have been far wrong". really i do not know, is it meaning that he is wrong – kadour Nov 24 '14 at 7:56
  • 3
    dictionary.reverso.net/english-cobuild/not%20far%20wrong/out/… Someone or something that is not far wrong, not far out, or not far off is almost correct or almost accurate. – mplungjan Nov 24 '14 at 8:42
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    i must thank you for your help "mplungjan" – kadour Nov 24 '14 at 8:50

To answer your second question first, as Mari-Lou A has already explained, "may" (just as "must", "can", "should", etc) is a modal verb and, as such, must be followed by infinitive.

As for your sentence "He may not have been far wrong", "far" is an adverb here.

far (adv.) - to a great extent, much (Merriam-Webster)

  • That car is far more expensive than ...
  • He is able to function far better than usual.
  • He felt far better yesterday.

So, your sentence means that "probably he wasn't so wrong"

| improve this answer | |
  • I really appreciate your help. thanks "Centaurus" – kadour Nov 24 '14 at 12:21

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