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I feel like both "may not" and "not necessarily" contain the idea of possibility. Therefore, I find "may not necessarily" somewhat redundant. I would like to know whether "may not" can always be replaced by "do(es) not" or is/are/am not" when it is used in conjunction with "not necessarily".

In other words, is there a difference/a correct version in these 2 example sentences when using "are" and "does" instead of "may (be)"?

1) Boosted bee populations in organic farms may/are not necessarily (be) due to reduced pesticide amounts. In fact, in some instances the risk of intoxication may even be higher in organic farmland.

2) Having cancer does/may not necessarily mean that you will die soon.

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1) Boosted bee populations in organic farms are not necessarily due to reduced pesticide amounts. In fact, in some instances the risk of intoxication may be even higher in organic farmland. The other choice is correct but not redundant. 2) Having cancer does not necessarily mean that you will die soon. This is the same situation as 1. It would seem less redundant if you changed 1 to "aren't" and 2 to "doesn't" even though it is the same thing and will remain correct no more than the other.

  • Thanks. So you prefer in both cases the version without "may". You wrote " The other choice is correct but not redundant." So if it is not redundant why did you give preference to the one you chose? – bee guy Oct 24 '17 at 13:14
  • Welcome to EL&U. Your answer could be improved by adding references that support it, and by formatting. – Rupert Morrish Nov 3 '17 at 4:01

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