Difference between Maybe and May be

Key difference: Maybe is an adverb. It can be placed at the beginning, middle or the end of a sentence. It has the same meaning as the word ‘perhaps’ or 'possibly'.  It is mainly used to indicate that something is neither for certain nor definitely not going to happen. ‘May be’, on the other hand, is a conjugated form of the verb ‘to be’. It can only be used as a verb. It essentially has the same meaning as 'might be', 'could be' or 'would be'.

English is a difficult language, not only for beginners, but for adept speakers as well. There are many similar words in the language that look the same, sound the same, but have very different meanings. ‘May be’ and ‘maybe’ is one example of these kinds of words. While, looking at the words, the only difference you’ll be able to see is that ‘maybe’ is one word, while, ‘may be’, is two words. However, they can only be used in some instances.

Maybe is an adverb. It can be placed at the beginning, middle or the end of a sentence. It has the same meaning as the word ‘perhaps’ or 'possibly'.  It is mainly used to indicate that something is neither for certain nor definitely not going to happen. In any proper instances where ‘maybe’ is used, one should be able to substitute it with ‘perhaps.’ For example: Maybe I’ll go to the park. Perhaps I’ll go to the park.

‘May be’, on the other hand, is a conjugated form of the verb ‘to be’. It can only be used as a verb. It essentially has the same meaning as 'might be', 'could be' or 'would be'. One should be able to substitute ‘may be’ with 'might be', 'could be' or 'would be'. For example: I may be going to the park. I could be going to the park. I would be going to the park. “I perhaps going to the park,” would be an incorrect sentence, hence, we can be sure that ‘may be’ is the correct word to use here, as oppose to ‘maybe.’

Further examples of ‘maybe’:

  • Maybe, I’ll go to the mall later. Perhaps, I’ll go to the mall later.
  • Maybe that's just what happens. Perhaps that's just what happens.
  • He realized that maybe be his father was right. He realized that perhaps be his father was right.
  • Maybe, I’m going to the party tonight. Perhaps, I’m going to the party tonight

Further examples of ‘may be’:

  • Jay may be stronger than Jim. Jay could be stronger than Jim.
  • He may be a much better player if he practiced. He could be a much better player if he practiced.
  • The story may be true. The story could be true.
  • You may be allowed to go to the party. You could be allowed to go to the party.

Image Courtesy: smartactors.com, palak-lamhay.blogspot.in

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