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Could you help me, please? Which of the two sentences is correct?

Could you phone them so that he may explain it?

or

Could you phone them so that he might explain it?

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Both are technically correct. However, "may" works better, since "might" makes it sound like there is a probability that he will not explain it.

Some people insist that you should use may (present tense) when talking about a >current situation and might (past tense) when talking about an event that >happened in the past. For example:

I may go home early if I’m tired. (present tense)

He might have visited Italy before settling in Nuremberg. (past tense)

But there is a distinction between may have and might have in certain contexts. If the truth of a situation is still not known at the time of speaking or writing, either of the two is acceptable:

By the time you read this, he may have made his decision.

I think that comment might have offended some people.

If the event or situation referred to did not in fact occur, it's better to use might have:

The draw against Italy might have been a turning point, but it didn't turn out like that.

Source:Oxford Dictionaries

  • What makes you think "may" doesn't make it sound like there is a probability that he will not explain it? – user140086 Oct 27 '15 at 5:45
  • may is more commonly used than might in my experience, and might is more often used when talking about probability. – typell Oct 27 '15 at 5:47
  • You need to include your reference/research in your answer. – user140086 Oct 27 '15 at 6:03
  • Thanks for your answer. English is my second language, so it's sometimes very difficult to understand some nuances. – lana Oct 27 '15 at 10:41
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I think both are good , the difference is that may implies a stronger possibility that the action will take place than might .

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