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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #117243: Maybe or May be
Maybe or May be
'Maybe' and 'May be' are almost identical but that little space between could be confusing.
Probably this lesson will help you understand.
(1) Our boss was sick yesterday so he may be absent from work today. Maybe our meeting will be postponed until he comes back.
(2) He may be creative or maybe he is not normal.
A bit more detail...
MAYBE (adverb):'Maybe' is an adverb that means the same as perhaps. It is written as one word to indicate uncertainty.
(1) Maybe no one will come to the party tonight = Perhaps no one will come to the party tonight.
(2) A: I thought Suzy would be here now. B: Maybe she forgot = Perhaps she forgot.
MAY BE (verb phrase):Here, 'may' and 'be' are two separate words; 'be' is a main verb supported by a modal (may) to indicate possibility.
(1) She may be lost = It is possible that she is lost.
(2) This may be the best website = This is possibly the best website.Oh yes, it is!!!
So, how are you going to remember the difference between these words.
Here are some tricks:>> 'maybe' and 'adverb' are each one word... 'may be' and 'verb phrase' are each two words.
>> Since 'may be' is a verb, there should a subject before it.
>> Also, 'maybe' and 'perhaps' have same meanings. If you can put 'perhaps' in a sentence and it still makes sense, then you should be using 'maybe' in that same sentence.
You may be a genius now - or maybe should take the test.
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