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I need to define what a given functional object is, what it looks like, what it is made of.

Should I say:

It MAY be any kind of box, a metal box like a shoe box, or a cardboard box like a cookie box. It MAY be hidden anywhere in the house or garden or in the neighbourhood.

or

It MIGHT be a metal box like a shoe box, or a cardboard box like a cookie box. It MIGHT be hidden anywhere in the house or garden or in the neighbourhood.

I can't make out the difference or which one is better with what meaning effect.

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The article linked in the comments - Could vs Might vs May - mentions that might is the past tense of may. The thing is, might and may are "modals" and modals don't really have tense.

I might go to the park today.

I may go to the park today.

These are both OK to say and neither of these are past or present tense.

X may Y means X allows or gives permission for Y to exist or happen.

X might Y means that Y will happen if X wants to.

Both of these are often used in place of can or could. May is often used in the same sense as might, but not vice versa - especially when someone's asking for permission directly - e.g. "May I go to the park?"

So ...

It MAY be any kind of box, a metal box like a shoe box, or a cardboard box like a cookie box

One possible meaning: you are asking someone to give you a box, and letting them know the acceptable types of boxes (the boxes you provide "permission" to receive).

Another possible meaning: synonymous with can.

It MIGHT be any kind of box, a metal box like a shoe box, or a cardboard box like a cookie box

So in this sentence, no one asked for a box, or is trying to gateway receiving a box. We're probably looking for a box that is lost or sometihng like that.

Modals in English are an inexact thing--especially if someone is trying to be polite or defer to authority--so don't over think it. However might is almost never used to directly request permission for something.

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    Several modals (notably would and could are historically past tense, and do indeed function as the past of others (will and can) in some contexts, such as back-shifting; but they have their own independent existence as well. Might did function as the past of may in this way fairly recently - certainly you'll find He asked if he might go in books up to the mid-20th century. But it is an old-fashioned use now.
    – Colin Fine
    Mar 31, 2022 at 17:37
  • I get it, but which one MAY or MIGHT, or maybe neither of them, is most to the point in the context of a definition?
    – zenith3
    Apr 1, 2022 at 17:42

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