may

English translation: may

04:53 Nov 16, 2018
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Medical - Other
English term or phrase: may
Discussion and Conclusion: The results suggested that continuous stimulation of the soles of the feet during the day using noninvasive microcones **may **improve sleep quality. Specifically, the approach improve the ability to initiate and maintain sleep, thereby increasing sleep duration and reducing sleepiness on rising.

Discussion and Conclusion: The results suggested that continuous stimulation of the soles of the feet during the day using noninvasive microcones may improve sleep quality. Specifically, the approach **seems to be able to** improve the ability to initiate and maintain sleep, thereby increasing sleep duration and reducing sleepiness on rising.

I thibk "may" is better than "seems to be able to," but I am not confident.

Is "may" better?
Sue-my
Local time: 15:58
English translation:may
Explanation:
In this sort of text, the writers always have to express a doubt, a possiiblity, as if they make a definite statement 'improves sleep', they are opening themselves up to being proved wrong!
In this instance, given the level of doubt already implied by 'results suggested that...', no additional doubt is really needed by using 'seems to...' so 'may' is perfectly OK here. In addition, in the fairly formal register of this document, 'seems to' is a little out of place, being of a more familiar, everyday register; in a document like this, if one wanted to express the same idea, one would probably write 'appears to...', which is much closer in register.
'May' also expresses another idea, not present in 'appears to' — it allows of the possibility that is may work for some people, but not others; 'appears to', on the other hand, does not carry this same implication: one might say, for example 'appears in some cases to...', opening the possibility that in some cases it may not. These nuances are important in scientific texts of this kind.
Selected response from:

Tony M
France
Local time: 08:58
Grading comment
Thank you very much!!
I really apprciate your help.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +6may
Tony M
3 +2"may" or "seems to improve"
JohnMcDove
4May
Eleni panagiotopoulou
4could
Ajin Im


  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
"may" or "seems to improve"


Explanation:
Probably "may" is the better option.

My two cents.

JohnMcDove
United States
Local time: 23:58
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  writeaway: certainly not wrong (referring to 'may' only)
1 day 4 hrs

agree  GILOU: definitely....
3 days 2 hrs
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
may


Explanation:
In this sort of text, the writers always have to express a doubt, a possiiblity, as if they make a definite statement 'improves sleep', they are opening themselves up to being proved wrong!
In this instance, given the level of doubt already implied by 'results suggested that...', no additional doubt is really needed by using 'seems to...' so 'may' is perfectly OK here. In addition, in the fairly formal register of this document, 'seems to' is a little out of place, being of a more familiar, everyday register; in a document like this, if one wanted to express the same idea, one would probably write 'appears to...', which is much closer in register.
'May' also expresses another idea, not present in 'appears to' — it allows of the possibility that is may work for some people, but not others; 'appears to', on the other hand, does not carry this same implication: one might say, for example 'appears in some cases to...', opening the possibility that in some cases it may not. These nuances are important in scientific texts of this kind.

Tony M
France
Local time: 08:58
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 156
Grading comment
Thank you very much!!
I really apprciate your help.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Shekhar Banerjee
9 mins
  -> Thanks, Shekhar!

agree  B D Finch: "Seems to" would imply that the author doesn't trust their own perception or data.
1 hr
  -> Thanks, B! Succinctly put!

agree  Thayenga: :)
6 hrs
  -> Thanks, Thayenga!

neutral  philgoddard: I don't see how we can know the answer to this. It sounds like the asker is translating from Japanese, and we don't know what the source text says.
8 hrs
  -> I don't think it's a translation issue, so much as one of natural, idiomatic usage in EN.

agree  Tina Vonhof
8 hrs
  -> Thanks, Tina!

agree  JohnMcDove
20 hrs
  -> Thanks, John!

agree  writeaway
1 day 25 mins
  -> Thanks, W/A!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
could


Explanation:
If I may... how about using 'could' instead of 'may' or 'seems to..'?
For me, considering the nature of the document neither 'may' nor 'seems to' feels quite right.

Ajin Im
South Korea
Local time: 15:58
Native speaker of: Native in KoreanKorean

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Tony M: 'may' is correct here; in this sort of scientific text, using 'could' introduces a different nuance of meaning, which IMHO would be undesirable here.
22 mins

neutral  B D Finch: Agree with Tony's comment; "could" is inappropriate in a scientific text.
25 mins
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11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
May


Explanation:
"May" is always preferred in a scientific context to any other auxiliary verb.

Eleni panagiotopoulou
Greece
Local time: 09:58
Native speaker of: Native in GreekGreek

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  writeaway: is this supposed to be a new and different answer?
15 hrs
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