What is the difference between the words -May be vs maybe?

The grammar of the English language is very interesting like when you actually do your research and have enough passion for the English language grammar you will know what I mean. English Grammar is like a place that you know but then you face an exception and *boom* the place feels quite strange but at the same time very interesting. But yes, sometimes it gets really really confusing especially when you need to deal with the words that play dual roles in parts of speech and that is when you come up with questions like the one this article is going to answer and that is – What is the difference between the words -May be vs maybe?

Now, if you are using some kind of spelling and grammar checker software while writing then for sure you must have come across the red mark that highlights your mistake when you just thought that it would be the fitting word. Now, how’s that – is what we will see in this article. So, if you are curious to know then stick around.

So, as we saw that English grammar sometimes gets confusing it is because there are many things and terms that do sound similar but mean totally different. Then there are words that mean the same but can have different spelling and pronunciations. In fact, there are words that mean nothing, and they are called ‘Ghost words’ Another thing that makes English language grammar so interesting is that there are always new words that make it to the English language dictionary!

What is the difference between the words -May be vs maybe?

Let us see what is the difference between Maybe and maybe. Also, keep in mind, that the word ‘may be’ is considered a common misspelling of the word ‘maybe’ but that does not stop a lot of writers to use both words in different sentences.

To start with, the word ‘maybe’ means – ‘possibility’ or ‘perhaps’

The difference is – that words play two roles in parts of speech

How so?

May be

The word ‘May be’ is two different words that act as a verb phrase. So, maybe is a verb phrase. It can be the main verb or a helping verb, depending on the sentence. In the list given below are some of the sentences used as examples that will help you understand the use of the word may be –

  • She said, ‘maybe you can try for another program?’
  • He may be coming to your pool party.
  • She may be cooking for us.
  • It may be about to snow, so we should hurry up.
  • This may be the first time she is giving a presentation.

We can clearly see the way ‘be’ is used as well as the word ‘may’ which is used as a modal verb now let us move to the next part.


As a part of speech, the word ‘maybe’ is an adverb. And if you haven’t noticed, it is one word – ‘maybe’ So it is used as one word to show the possibility and modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverbs. Let us see some of the examples in the list below that will help you understand the function of the word ‘maybe’

  • Maybe I should have talked to her.
  • Maybe everyone will come to the event.
  • Maybe you should go to the football match.
  • There are maybe three men who responded to the email.
  • Maybe I should read more to understand the English Language.
  • I thought maybe by now you would have studied everything for the exam.
  • Maybe it was the honesty he was asking for.
  • On the other hand, maybe he wanted her to make a move first.

The examples above will help you get a clear idea of the use of the word ‘maybe’

There will come times when you will come across a lot of confusing words in the English language and grammar but all you have to do is keep the base strong. When you study grammar, if you learn the basics with full concentration then for sure you can easily tackle the complexity of the English language!

Hope this article helped you in some way. Thank you for visiting the page!

Carter Martin

Leave a Comment