Meanings of MIGHT (part 2) - and Occupy London protesters at St Paul's | DailyStep English

Meanings of MIGHT (part 2) - and Occupy London protesters at St Paul's

This is Jane Lawson's Audio Blog #038 at DailyStep English


Hello, I’m Jane at DailyStep English and welcome to my Audio Blog!


It’s a turbulent time in Europe at the moment! Every time I switch on the TV news or read a newspaper, there is more serious news about the state of the European economy. There are also protests springing up all over the place – and in this blog, we will look at one that is now taking place in London.. .

Then, in the Audio Word Study, I will finish explaining how to use the modal verb MIGHT (part 2). Next, you can find  detailed information about how my English learning programme works. 

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So, let’s start off with a visit to the Occupy London protest!

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Occupy London

by Jane Lawson at


If you visit St Paul’s cathedral in London at the moment, you will be greeted by a very unusual sight. Protesters from the Occupy London movement are occupying the grounds of St Paul’s, camping there in around 200 tents, and throughout the day they are holding rallies and giving interviews to newspapers and TV news channels. But who are they and why are they there?


Occupy London opened as a Facebook page on 10th October 2011, calling for people to occupy Paternoster Square, outside the London Stock Exchange, which is opposite St Paul’s cathedral. The London Stock Exchange is the main British institution of the global financial system. The protest is against corporate greed, particularly by the banks, and against tax injustice and social inequality. One of the main slogans of the Occupy movement is “We are the 99%”. This slogan is now used worldwide, but it originally came from the USA, where most of the wealth is apparently concentrated in just the richest 1% of the population, while the other 99% suffer the consequences of this inequality. The text on the banner in the bottom picture – “We apologise for inconvenience during essential global improvement works” - sounds like a traffic disruption notice, which is quite funny because the protesters have been criticised for causing a disruption to the area.


When they first arrived in Paternoster Square, the London protesters were quickly moved on by the police, so they went into the grounds of St Paul’s cathedral, and were given permission to stay. The Canon of St. Paul's, Reverend Giles Fraser, even asked the police to leave the cathedral steps, saying he was happy for people to "exercise their right to protest peacefully" outside the cathedral. But after a week, the Dean of St Paul’s (another leading cleric) asked the protesters to leave. There was talk of legal action being taken against the protestors, with the implied threat of forcible eviction from the grounds of St Paul’s. But other senior members of the Church have expressed support for the protest, with one senior cleric stating that excessive greed should become completely socially unacceptable.


This kind of protest is inspired by the brave protesters who occupiedTahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, in early 2011, and brought about such huge change in their country. There have been Occupy protests throughout the USA and worldwide. Using the internet andsocial networking sites such as FaceBook, ordinary people can now organise and exchange ideas in a way that was impossible even 10 years ago. The Occupy London protest has provoked a far reaching debate throughout Britain, and it is one of the hottest topics on any news program right now. This protest does seem to be having an effect because, essentially, its demands for a fairer system are reasonable, and no politician or cleric wants to be the one to disagree with them!


Anyway, let’s move on now to our Audio Word Study, where I will teach you how to use MIGHT (part 2).

Here is Audio Word Study #03
8 from Jane Lawson at


This week we continue our look at ways of using MIGHT. Remember to read these examples aloud, and speak along with the audio file if you are a subscriber to my lessons, as this will help you to fix the grammar structures in your mind!

Might (modal verb)

Meaning 4: 'Might' is used to introduce a statement that is a big contrast to the statement you really want to make, in order to compare the two. 
Examples: 1. This car might be brand new, but it sounds as if it's 10 years old. I think you need to get the engine fixed! (note: we could also say, ‘even though this car is brand new, it sounds as if it is 10 years old.’)
2. Manchester United might be a great football team, but we can still beat them. (note: we could also say: ‘Even though Manchester United is a great football team, we can still beat them.’)
. .

Meaning 5: We use ‘might’ to suggest what someone should do to in order to behave in a polite, correct or pleasant way. Using ‘might’ in this way usually shows that we are angry – but you need to copy the intonation and emphasis carefully!
Examples: 1. Husband: “My mother is coming over tonight to stay for a week.”

Wife: “Well, you might have given me a bit more notice! I’ll need to spring clean the house - look at all this mess!” (note: the word ‘might’ has extra emphasis here!)
2. My boss has told me to work over the weekend. He might have told me earlier – I booked some theatre tickets last night and now I’ll have to give them away!
3. I know you don’t want to be at this party, but you might at least pretend to be enjoying yourself, just to be polite! (note: this means ‘…the minimum that you could do is pretend to be enjoying yourself!’ The speaker is implying that the other person is rude by openly showing that he is not enjoying himself!)

. .

Meaning 6: We use ‘might’ to make a suggestion or suggest a possibility in a polite, indirect way.

Examples:1. “I’ll be near your office tomorrow so I thought you might like to join me for lunch”

“Yes, that would be lovely thank you. Shall we say around 12.30?”(note: here, the invitation is very indirect, saying ‘I thought you might like to join me’, which is not a question, instead of ‘Would you like to join me…?’.)

2. As you are so interested in musical instruments, you might like to visit the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill while you are in London – it has the most amazing collection of all kinds of instruments!

3. This gravy is delicious – but you might like to try adding a bit more salt next time. (note: be careful when you use this kind of sentence. Even though it is polite, many people would not welcome this kind of suggestion about their cooking!)


So, those are the ways that we use MIGHT as a modal verb – but did you know that MIGHT can also be a noun, with a related adjective?

Might (noun) 
Meaning: Force, power, strength
Examples: 1. In the boxing ring, he faced the might of the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. To everyone’s surprise, he beat the champion and won the fight!
2. The dog swam with all its might after falling in the river, and finally reached the other side. (note: remember the whole underlined phrase ‘with all its might’. This means ‘with all its strength’.)


Mighty (adjective)

Meaning: Very large, powerful or important
Examples: 1. The mighty Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world.

2. In a recent football match, the mighty Chelsea were beaten by a small, local team!

. .

Now, try to write your own sentences using these meanings of MIGHT. Make sure these sentences are true to your own life because this will help you to remember them better. That is all for Audio Word Study #038 on

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