|about the present||about the past|
|Just possible||Might||Might have + 3rd form|
|Possible||May||May have + 3rd form|
|Quite certain||Can||Can have + 3rd form|
|Almost certain||Must||Must have + 3rd form|
|Possibly not||Might not||Might not have + 3rd form|
|Possibly not||May not||May not have + 3rd form|
|Not possible||Can’t/couldn’t||Can’t/couldn’t have + 3rd form|
Eg.: This must have been love… – Minden bizonnyal szerelem volt…
Eg.: You can’t be serious! – Nem gondolhatod komolyan!
How to use:
Imagine you have 5 keys in your hand. You want to open the door but you don’t know which key opens it.
So you speculate:
You hold one key of the 5. The key hole is small, the key is very big. So you say, ‘ This can’t (couldn’t) be the good key. It’s too big.
Now you have 4 more choices. You take the next key. You say, ‘This might be the key.’ You don’t know if it is true, but there is a chance. It doesn’t open the door.
So you go for the next one. Now you have 3 more options. You say, ‘This may be the key.’ It’s possible, you still don’t know, but you are a bit more sure because there are less options. But it doesn’t open the door.
You try the next one. Now only 2 options are left. So you say, ‘This can be the key’. You have 50% chance. Unfortunately it doesn’t open the door.
Now you have only 1 key left. So you say, ‘This must be the key’. You are almost certain (not absolutely because you haven’t tried it yet). You try it and the door opens.
Now you are absolutely sure and say, ‘This is the key.’