We use either may + have and might + have to show that something has possibly happened now or happened at some time in the past. (Learnenglish.britishcouncil.org)

What is the difference between the two answers this question? (Which one is correct?)

Question: Where has he gone?

Answer 1: Probably, he has gone to the canteen.

Answer 2: He may have gone to the canteen.

  • 3
    Either may be valid, but they do not mean the same thing: the first asserts that his going there is probable, the second that it is possible. . . . By the way, Anglo-American Englishes call for an article before canteen. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 29 '17 at 6:41
  • Anybody in here knows how to change my review from Approved to Rejected? – SovereignSun Mar 29 '17 at 8:54

The main difference between the two is the probability they implied. May have suggests a possibility without any comment on its probability. Probably, meanwhile, suggests something is likely to have happened. Say "probably" if you're pretty sure he went to the canteen; say "may have" if you think it's possible but don't really know either way.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.