Might be

MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Might be

I have seen might be + verb (e.g.) eating as either il pourrait manger or il mangerait. Are they both correct.
Asked 5 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Michael,

In French to convey the possibility of something happening can be translated in many different ways, often very simply by adding peut-être

For Present possibility: use the verb in the present + peut-être 

Vous avez peut-être raison = you might be right

Je vais peut-être venir avec vous = I might come with you

For future possibility: use the verb in the future + peut-être

Il va peut-être  se rappeler plus tard = He might remember later

Il regrettera peut-être sa décision He might regret his decision

For past possibilities: use the verb in a past tense + peut-être

Nous n'avons peut-être pas tout comprisWe might not have understood everything.

C'était peut-être une erreur = It might have been a mistake

When might is used to convey a very polite request: use the conditional of 'pouvoir':

Pourrais-je faire une demande? = Might I make a request?

Also might (meaning could) for suggestions, using the conditional.

Vous pourriez essayer le restaurant en haut de la rueyou might try the restaurant up the road

Je pensais que nous pourrions y aller ensembleI thought we might go there together

To convey the idea of should have : using the conditional past.

J'aurais dû m'en douter = I might have known

Hope this helps!


CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Michael,

I think you are thinking of 'Il se pourrait que '+ subjunctive 'which translates as may or might  (be that).


Il se pourrait que je vienne avec vous. (It is possible I may come with you)

Il se pourrait que vous deviez prendre ce médicament jusqu'à la fin de vos jours. (You may have to take this medicine till the end of your life.)

Hope this helps!


MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thanks Cécile, Your reply is very helpful , but I was also interested in a more general context of how 'might' or 'might be' can be translated. 

Might be

I have seen might be + verb (e.g.) eating as either il pourrait manger or il mangerait. Are they both correct.

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