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1) the increase of pollution may have been linked to industrialization

2) the increase of pollution may have linked to industrialization

3) the increase of pollution may link to industrialization

It seems to me that the first sentence is wrong, but it is from my supervisor. The second sentence emphasizes the influence of industrialization has existed a while, The third sentence simply states the hypothesis without indicating duration.

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The increase of pollution may link to industrialization .
= The increase of pollution probably links to industrialization .
(simple present)

The increase of pollution may have linked to industrialization .
=The increase of pollution probably linked to industrialization .
(simple past) ("may" becomes "may have")

The increase of pollution may have been linked to industrialization .
=The increase of pollution was probably linked to industrialization . (passive voice)

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  • thank you so much for the explanation. Can I ask your opinion about the word 'link'. In the example I provided, is it necessary to use passive voice? or is it just a more elaborated expression? – Elizabeth Mar 14 at 15:21
  • and what if I change 'may' to ‘might’? For examples, will 'the increase of pollution might have linked to industrialization' mean the same as 'The increase of pollution may have linked to industrialization'? they both mean "probably linked"(simple past)? – Elizabeth Mar 14 at 15:24
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    it really depends on the situation and the context , using "may have been" in formal situations its totally okay.... as for your second comment , "may" and "might" can be used interchangeably , "might" is usually used when the situation is less likely to happen , "may" is usually used when the situation is more likely to happen , but you can use either of them in any situation ...so you can used "may have" or "might have" it doesn't really make so much difference . – Moha Mar 14 at 16:13

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