LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||30/OUT/2008 6:16 PM|
|Assunto:||use of auxiliaries|
As the examples show, 'might' is not a lexical (normal / standard) verb (like 'go', 'become' etc) referring to a state or action.
It is one of a separate group known as auxiliaries ('can', 'could' etc), expressing the speaker's psychological interpretation (in terms of deference, politeness, assessment of possibility, probability, permission etc) and it modifies the meaning of the lexical verb with which it is used ('might express',. 'Might not go')
Because 'might' and all the auxiliaries are used in such a subjective way there can be wide variations in the way they are used (this pattern is perhaps most pronounced with the auxiliary 'should').
To refer to deference, politeness, assessment of possibility or probability or permission etc in the past add 'have' + third form of lexical verb ('might have gone', 'become' etc)
The example given: "Used to express possibility or probability or permission in the past: 'She told him yesterday he might not go on the trip'." Is not correct. The past in this phrase is linked to the lexical verb 'told' and the adverb 'yesterday'. If you said "She told him TODAY he might not go on the trip'. – the auxiliary does not vary. The past reference with might would be: "She told me he might have gone on a trip."
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