If you want to enhance your writing, the doesn’t hurt to grasp some English grammar skills. One of the questions a most writers asks is how to use the word maybe: specifically, as soon as to use probably vs. May be.

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Don’t worry. You’re no alone in reasoning that the English language can have some daunting rules come remember when it involves grammar and writing.

Today, let’s emphasis on when to use the word possibly versus the phrase might be to boost your writing.

Here’s the quick preeminence for maybe vs. May be:

The straightforward Trick to probably vs. May Be

If you can replace it through “potentially,” use maybe. If you can replace it through “might be,” use may be.

If you’re interested in learning WHY this is true, read on!

The Difference between Maybe and also May Be: The 9 components of Speech

Maybe and may be room both provided to discuss possibility. However, they space different, with the key difference between these two words being the they space two different parts of speech.

As you may remember native elementary school, there room nine different parts that speech:


Need a refresher on these? check out our complete parts that speech overview here.

But which part of speech perform maybe and also may be loss under?

Maybe Is an Adverb

Maybe is one adverb, which way it demands to change a verb. As an adverb, words maybe means possibly.

It’s likewise a synonym for perhaps.

For instance:

Maybe I’ll chef soup because that dinner.Maybe Jill will certainly ask Jack out.Maybe you could stop at Starbucks before coming over?

Also, notice how wherein a word like “might” is not usually used in the beginning of a sentence, the verb “maybe” really well could be—something worth pointing out due to the fact that many ESL (English Language Learners) mistake probably for could when very first learning American English.

But what about the word might be?

May and Be space Both Verbs

On the other hand, the phrase “may be” uses two verbs, which deserve to work a different words. This also way that “may” and “be” refer a state that being.

Separated, “may” is a modal verb and “be” is a key or assistant verb.

When these word space separated, “may be” plot a verb expression that way “could be” or “might be.”

Separated, the verb “may” expresses opportunity where the verb “be” express a state that being.

As verbs, the phrase “may be” will constantly modify a noun. Some example sentences the this are:

John might be in ~ the run tonight.Heather might be joining united state for brunch.Courtney might be late.

The English language uses a lot of compound words like might be, or combines two various verbs that, when inserted together, commonly convey a different an interpretation than the verb do once they was standing alone.

How to Use perhaps vs. Might Be (With Examples)

The tricky reality is the they have comparable meanings, which provides it more daunting to distinguish. So through that in mind, look in ~ the difference between these two words in context:


Maybe Deon will be interested in walk swing dancing next week.Deon may be interested in walk swing to dance tonight.

The an initial sentence is correct since “maybe” is editing the verb “will be.” If you changed it through “potentially” that would mean the exact same thing, however if you replaced “may” v “might” the wouldn’t do sense.

“Might be Deon” just sounds weird, right?

The second sentence is correct since “may be” is introduce to the ideal noun, “Deon.” If you replaced “may” through “might” it would sound normal, “Deon can be interested….” sound good, right? however if you replaced it through “potentially,” it would be weird.

“Deon perhaps interested….” unless you’re a caveman, the doesn’t sound right.

Let’s look at at some incorrect examples:


May be Shirley will certainly go to tango night v us.Shirley maybe going come tango night through us.

For the an initial sentence, again shot replacing “may be” through “might be” and you’ll uncover it sounds an ext like Yoda-speak than normal English.

For the second sentence, replacing “maybe” through “potentially” feels weirdly clipped. You’d have to say, “Shirley perhaps will be going…,” to make it work, and also even then, “may be” is much smoother.

Let’s look in ~ a couple of other instances that are correct grammar:


Vardy claims he may be law a cha cha performance next week.Vardy claims he is thinking around maybe act a cha cha performance following week.If Tina goes dancing tomorrow, she may be showing off her brand-new swing skills.If Tina go dancing tomorrow, possibly she can display off her new swing skills.

Are you see it now? as soon as to use which?

The cheat to never ever Confuse Maybe and May it is in Again

Again, the easiest means to make certain you’re making use of these appropriately is to replay “maybe” v “potentially” and also “may be” with “might be.” If the sentence is still correct, you’re good. If it’s not, then you know you need to readjust it.

So there you have actually it. Currently you’ll never confuse the two again! however just to it is in sure, let’s practice the two v a an imaginative writing exercise.

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To practice using maybe and also may be correctly, use the adhering to writing prompt

Write for fifteen minutes about the possibility of something that happens in ~ a labor Day cookout. Use may be and maybe appropriately as frequently as friend can. Article your exercise in the comments and leave notes for your other writers.