Consider these two sentences:

Jane might be able to help you.

Jane might help you.

Does the second sentence give more probability to get help? For me the first sentence says that she will be able to do it, she will be free, but it does not mean that she will consider doing it or will do it at all.

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    I think the first speculates on her ability to help. The second speculates on her willingness to help (and presupposes her ability). – Jim Jun 23 '13 at 21:35

Jane might be able to help you.

This means that Jane is capable of helping you. It doesn't suggest whether she will or won't help you, it only says that she is able to.

Jane might help you.

This suggests that the speaker thinks there is a chance Jane will help you. It's implied that she's capable of helping you, and suggests you see if she will.

  • More correctly on the first example, it means that the speaker thinks that there is a chance that Jane is capable of helping you. – BobRodes Jun 25 '13 at 5:40

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