Maybe vs. May Be

Maybe and may be are often confused. Maybe means the same as perhaps.

Both maybe and perhaps are used to suggest that you are not certain about something.

  • Maybe you are right. OR Perhaps you are right.
  • Maybe she will come. OR Perhaps she will come.
  • Maybe we will win. OR Perhaps we will win.

Note that maybe is mainly used in informal contexts. In a more formal style, we use perhaps.

Maybe and may be

May be means more or less the same as could be. Note that this expression is a verb. Maybe, on the other hand, is an adverb.

Maybe can go at the beginning of the sentence. May be always goes after the subject. When you use maybe, the sentence will have another verb.

Examples are given below.

  • She may be interested in the offer. (NOT She maybe interested —)
  • He may be telling the truth. (NOT He maybe telling the truth.)
  • If there is a strike, the road may be blocked.
  • I may be wrong. (NOT I maybe wrong.)
  • Maybe I am wrong. (NOT May be I am wrong.)
  • The whole process takes maybe fifteen minutes. (NOT — may be fifteen minutes.)
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Manjusha Nambiar

I am the founder and editor of http://www.perfectyourenglish.com, http://www.ielts-practice.org, and http://ncertguides.com

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