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"Call me in a week; I may/might HAVE CHANGED my mind by then"

"Call me in a week; I may/might CHANGE my mind by then"

Which version is right? If both are used by native-speakers, why do they choose one over another?

2 Answers 2

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I might have changed my mind by then

I may change my mind by then

Both are valid, usage depends on the individual. Personally I would say 'might have changed' indicates that its slightly more likely to happen, 'may change' is a little more uncertain, but its very close between the two.

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X might Y is used to say Y is possible if X chooses or wants Y. It's unknown if Y will/did actually happen.

If John wants to take a walk, John might go to the park.

X may Y can be used to say X has permission to do Y by someone else, so X choosing Y is a possibility. It also can mean the same thing as might. It's unknown if Y will/did actually happen.

John's mother said he may go to the park after dinner.

If John wants to talk a walk, John may go to the park.

John's mother said he might go to the park after dinner <- This is not communicating that John's mother gave him permission or that John's mother necessarily approves of this action.

Because of the above, I believe may has a sense of being more formal and polite, which is why someone may choose to say may over might in certain instances, as long as permission is not a concern of the conversation or context.

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