What is the difference between could and might?

What is the difference between could and might?
Could is a see also of might. As verbs the difference between could and might is that could is (can) while might is (auxiliary) used to indicate conditional or possible actions. As a noun might is (uncountable) power, strength, force or influence held by a person or group. As a adjective might is mighty; powerful; possible.



Alternative forms

* (obsolete)



  • (can)
  • Before I was blind, I could see very well.
  • conditional of can
  • #
  • I think he could do it if he really wanted to.
  • I wish I could fly!
  • # (Used to politely ask for permission to do something).
  • # ( Used to politely ask for someone else to do something).
  • # (Used to show the possibility that something might happen).
  • #* {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-29, volume=407, issue=8842, page=55, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Travels and travails
    , passage=Even without hovering drones, a lurking assassin, a thumping score and a denouement, the real-life story of Edward Snowden, a rogue spy on the run, could be straight out of the cinema. But, as with Hollywood, the subplots and exotic locations may distract from the real message: America’s discomfort and its foes’ glee.}}

  • # (Used to suggest something).
  • Derived terms

    * could’ve
    * couldn’t (negative form of could )
    * couldst (archaic second-person of could )

    See also






    (wikipedia might )

    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) might, myghte, (also maught, macht, maht), from (etyl) miht, mieht, meaht, .



  • (uncountable) Power, strength, force or influence held by a person or group.
  • (uncountable) Physical strength.
  • He pushed with all his might , but still it would not move.
  • (uncountable) The ability to do something.
  • Adjective


  • Mighty; powerful; possible.
  • Etymology 2

    From (etyl) meahte, from magan, whence English may.



  • (lb) Used to indicate conditional or possible actions.
  • :
  • * Bishop Joseph Hall
  • The characterism of an honest man: He looks not to what he might do, but what he should.
  • *
  • *:“A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron;. ¶ Near her wandered her husband, orientally bland, invariably affable, and from time to time squinting sideways, as usual, in the ever-renewed expectation that he might catch a glimpse of his stiff, retroussé moustache.
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-07, author=David Simpson
  • , volume=188, issue=26, page=36, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly)
    , title= Fantasy of navigation
    , passage=It is tempting to speculate about the incentives or compulsions that might explain why anyone would take to the skies in [the] basket [of a balloon]: perhaps out of a desire to escape the gravity of this world or to get a preview of the next;

  • (lb) (may) Used to indicate permission in past tense.
  • :
  • (lb) (may) Used to indicate possibility in past tense.
  • :
  • *, chapter=1
  • , title= Mr. Pratt’s Patients, chapter=1
    , passage=I stumbled along through the young pines and huckleberry bushes. Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path that, I cal’lated, might lead to the road I was hunting for. It twisted and turned, and, the first thing I knew, made a sudden bend around a bunch of bayberry scrub and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn.}}

  • *{{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham), title=(The China Governess)
  • , chapter=19 citation
    , passage=Meanwhile Nanny Broome was recovering from her initial panic and seemed anxious to make up for any kudos she might have lost, by exerting her personality to the utmost. She took the policeman’s helmet and placed it on a chair, and unfolded his tunic to shake it and fold it up again for him.}}


    * archaic second-person singular simple past – mightest
    * nonstandard, archaic third-person singular simple past – mighteth

    See also

    * could