of May and Might
THE PAST PROGRESSIVE FORMS OF MAY AND
MIGHT ARE FORMED BY ADDING HAVE BEEN +
THE -ING FORM OF THE MAIN VERB.
--I didn't see them at the hotel. They
may have been having dinner.
--The mail didn't arrive on time. The
mailman might have been having trouble
with his car.
THE PRESENT PROGRESSIVE FORMS OF MAY AND
MIGHT ARE FORMED BY ADDING BE + THE -ING
FORM OF THE MAIN VERB.
--We may be calling you in the morning.
--They might be visiting the U.S. this
time next year.
NOTE: When must means necessity, the past
form is had to. When it means probability,
the past is must have + past participle.
The modal auxiliary would is used in three
1. EXPRESSING PREFERENCE:
--I would rather visit Los Angeles. (I'd
(Would rather means prefer.)
2. EXPRESSING REPEATED ACTION IN THE PAST:
--When she was alive, Aunt Stephanie would
visit the West Coast.
(Would is used with regularly repeated
actions in the past.)
3. POLITE REQUESTS
--I would appreciate hearing from you
(Would is frequently used with polite
When used to express a repeated action
in the past, would often takes the place
of used to:
--When they were students, they would
go skiing every winter.
--When they were students, they used to
go skiing every winter.
However, when used to refers to a situation
that existed (but was not necessarily
repeated) in the past, would may not serve
as a replacement:
--Aunt Stephanie used to live in Chicago.
--Aunt Stephanie would live in Chicago.
Would can also be used in conditional
--If I had more time, I would read the
A gerund is the -ing form of the verb
used as a noun. Like nouns, gerunds can
be subjects or objects:
--Playing golf is fun.
--We're used to having a lot of fun.
In the second example, the gerund having
is the object of the preposition to. This
pattern is fairly frequent in English.
By is often used with gerunds to describe
how something is done:
--By calling the office, you'll be able
to know what's going on.
Here are a number of common verbs followed
finish--They finished working at 6 p.m.
stop--I stopped calling you at midnight.
quit--They quit eating for 24 hours.
avoid--You can't avoid answering the question.
keep (on)--They will keep on studying.
enjoy--My neighbor enjoys walking his
appreciate--She would appreciate hearing
mind--Do they mind selling their car?
NOTE: Go is followed by a gerund in certain
idiomatic expressions related to sports
and physical activities.
--Did they go shopping yesterday?
--They went sailing at the lake.
--We are going skiing this winter in the