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may         

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1]  

      vb   past   , might   takes an infinitive without: to or an implied infinitive   used as an auxiliary  
1    to indicate that permission is requested by or granted to someone  
he may go to the park tomorrow if he behaves himself     
2    often foll by: well   to indicate possibility  
the rope may break, he may well be a spy     
3    to indicate ability or capacity, esp. in questions  
may I help you?     
4    to express a strong wish  
long may she reign     
5    to indicate result or purpose: used only in clauses introduced by that or so that  
he writes so that the average reader may understand     
6       another word for       might   1  
7    to express courtesy in a question  
whose child may this little girl be?     
8    be that as it may   in spite of that: a sentence connector conceding the possible truth of a previous statement and introducing an adversative clause  
be that as it may, I still think he should come     
9    come what may   whatever happens  
10    that's as may be   foll by a clause introduced by: but   that may be so  
     (Old English mæg, from magan: compare Old High German mag, Old Norse ma)  
It was formerly considered correct to use may rather than can when referring to permission as in: you may use the laboratory for your experiments, but this use of may is now almost entirely restricted to polite questions such as: may I open the window? The use of may with if in constructions such as your analysis may have been more credible if ... is generally regarded as incorrect, might being preferred: your analysis might have been more credible if ...  
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may, may, may, May

Dictionnaire Collaboratif     Anglais Définition
exp.
used to point out that small problems or unpleasant events can in the end help things get better
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