Getting Tense

I hate it when an otherwise literate writer uses may in past-tense narrative where might should have been used instead: “If there was any truth to {Name }’s story, {the villains } may already be in hot pursuit.”

No. That’s wrong. It should be “If there was any truth to {Name }’s story, {the villains } might already be in hot pursuit.” May goes with the present tense: “If there is any truth to {Name }’s story, {the villains } may already be in hot pursuit.”

(The question of “was” vs. “were” I’ll let slip, given the moribund nature of the English subjunctive.)

There. I just had to get that off my chest, is all.

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