Even though the two words contain the same letters, the space between those letters makes a difference because maybe is an adverb while may be is a verb. As such, their definitions are different and one can never be used in the place of the other. Look:


The word maybe is used as an adverb in English and it means perhaps or possibly.

  • Maybe I won’t go back.
  • Maybe someday we can go skiing in France.
  • Maybe he didn’t call because he wasn’t feeling well.

MAY BE IS A VERB PHRASE (modal + root)

May be is not an adverb but rather a verb phrase with ‘may’ and ‘be’ both being verbs. Together they refer to the probability of something occurring or something that might already exist.

  • They may be stuck in the elevator for a while.
  • This One Direction concert may be their last one.
  • This may be the last time Brady plays for the Patriots.

"Maybe" or "May be"

1 / 10

The museum ___________ closed on Mondays, so let's plan our visit for another day.

2 / 10

___________ you could help me with my homework after school?

3 / 10

Mark's new job offer ___________ a great opportunity for him to advance his career.

4 / 10

___________ it's time for us to consider different options for our vacation destination.

5 / 10

The team's performance in the next match ___________ better than last time if they train harder.

6 / 10

Tom: Will you come to the party tonight?
Lisa: ___________, I'll have to check my schedule first.

7 / 10

There ___________ a chance of winning the competition if you practice every day.

8 / 10

John: Do you think we should go to the beach today?
Mary: Hmm, ___________ we could wait until the weather clears up.

9 / 10

Sarah's flight ___________ delayed due to the bad weather conditions.

10 / 10

I'm not sure if it ___________ raining later, so I'll bring an umbrella, just in case.

Your score is

The average score is 86%


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