https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/might says:


You use "might" to indicate that something could happen or be true in particular circumstances. (emphasis mine)

a) Your child might do better with a different teacher.

b) (He is) the type of person who might appear in a fashion magazine.

Q1) I think the condition for sentence a) is: "If she had a different teacher." Am I right?

Q2) What is the condition for sentence b)?

  • 1
    What if the child already has two teachers? Consider the following sentence: Your child might do better with the other teacher. The meaning of might hasn't changed, but the meaning of the sentence has … Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 20:39
  • 1
    For b) the condition can be very vague and general, a la "if the right circumstances arose". It just means that the speaker thinks it's within the realm of possibility (in this case, probably because "he" is a fashionable or avant garde person).
    – Kitkat
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 20:43
  • 1
    The conditions can be many different things.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 22:37

1 Answer 1


The following is sentence (a) re-worded as an if...then statement

a) If your child had a different teacher, then your child might do better in school.

Sentence (a) could also be written as:

All other things being the same (cateris paribus), your child's school work would be of equal, or higher quality, if your child had a better teacher than if their futuree teacher is the same as their current teacher.

Sentence b is not easily re-written in if-then form.

b) He is the type of person who might appear in a fashion magazine.

Sentence b has a meaning similair to, "he is handsome and good looking." Another alternative is, "he looks similair to the men whose photographs appear in fashion magazines."

The following sentence is equivilant in meaning to the original (b):

b) It is possible that he could appear in a fashion magazine.

The word "could" is a synonym of "might".

We could also write (b) as follows:

b) It is not nessasary that he not appear in a fashion magazine.

b) He is not dead and he is not ugly.

Suppose that "he" is a place-holder for the name "Bob".

We could write:

for any person p if p is maximally similair to Bob, subject to the constraint that Bob and p have different levels of handsome-ness, then if p would be eligible for a job modeling for a fashion magazine then Bob would be eligible for the same job at the same fashion magazine.

If you really want "if... then," we could write:

if p is a person, and if p applied to work as a fashion model for a fashion magazine, and if p and Bob were the same in as many respects as possible except that Bob and p had different looks, then if p would recieve an offer of acceptance, then Bob would recieve a letter of acceptance.

Let XS denote the set of all people.

Also, let PS denote the set of all predicates on elements of set XS. For example p element of XS might be defined by p(x) = true if and only if person x was born in the year 2019.

for any two x and y element of set XS, if x is prettier than y and if p(x) = p(y) for all predicates p element of a maximal size set of predicates which are internally consistent and consistent with x prettier than y, then if y is a fashion, x is a fashion model.

A set of predicates QS is internally consistent if and only if there exist two people x and y such that Q(x) = Q(y) for every predicate Q in set QS.

A set of consistent predicates is "maximal" if adding one additional predicate to the set would cause there to not exist a person satisfying all predicates within the set.

The fact that person x is prettier than person y reduces the number of predicates such that p(x) = p(y).

We will have as many things be true about both two people as possible subject to the constraints that there exist people satisfying the unary predicates and the binary predicate "x is prettier than "y" is satisfied.

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