Maybe I don’t know what I want, 

but at least I don’t run away every time

 there is a problem!


In this sentence, the adverb “maybe” is used to express uncertainty or possibility. The speaker is unsure about what they want, which is why they use “maybe” to indicate this uncertainty. However, they are certain about one thing: they don’t run away when there’s a problem. This contrast between uncertainty and certainty is what gives the sentence its emotional impact. The speaker may be uncertain about many things, but they are sure of their resilience and ability to face problems head-on.

In the English Grammar Profile, in the category of Adverbs as modifiers at A2, a limited range of adverbs includes ‘maybe’ to indicate degrees of certainty. The example given is:

Or maybe we can walk to there because it’s not far from my house.

Also in A2, but in the category of modality and its subcategory of adverbs for the main point of the form: being clause position: ‘maybe’ before a clause or elliptic clause. ► adverbs: position:

Examples are given:

I think I left my phone there, maybe in your kitchen.
Maybe we could visit that park you told me about or play at your house.

Then we find at A1 in the category of adverbs and on FORM: FRONT POSITION

You can bring some music. Maybe we can dance.

Clearly, there is a complexity shift, especially for the ellipted examples (in other clauses).  There is an added conjunction too for the first example, and it is also in the main clause followed by a subordinate clause.  However, the explanations do not make enough of a distinction.

In all three highlighted:

maybe we can walk

Maybe we could visit

Maybe we can dance

“Maybe” is before a clause and indicates possibility or certainty.  The most interesting point is that they are all followed by more modality (beside the point here).

Since it is unclear from these 3 whether to classify future examples as A1 or A2, as usual, we can turn to the English Vocabulary Profile which locates its corpus examples as A2:

A2 possibly
Cambridge Learner Corpus Learner example:
Maybe I forgot it [in] your room.

A2 used to politely suggest something
Cambridge Learner Corpus Learner example:
Maybe we could visit that park you told me about or play at your house.

There is no entry for “maybe” at A1 and our EGP example for SUGGESTION is the exact same one in the EGP.

In conclusion, “maybe” is probably not common enough a token to mark at A1.

So what does “maybe” collocate most with on the iWeb Corpus (4 tokens left and right)?

1 MAYBE 44625
2 KNOWS 16509
3 OK 12376
4 ILL 11593
5 OKAY 10071
6 SOMEDAY 6034
7 THEYLL 2347
8 HMM 2267
9 HMMM 1712
10 ITLL 1317
12 TAD 1100
13 IDK 927
14 CHIME 826
15 BIASED 812
17 NAIVE 638
18 RETHINK 572
20 UNLUCKY 420

We soon discover that it clearly collocates with itself far more often than any other word.  We asked AI to summarise the following concordance lines:

The sentences that include the word “maybe” twice seem to express a range of emotions and situations. Here’s a summary:

  1. Uncertainty and Doubt: Many of the sentences express uncertainty or doubt about a situation or outcome, such as “Maybe it will work maybe it won’t” and “Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t.”
  2. Possibility and Potential: Some sentences explore different possibilities or potential scenarios, like “Maybe you’ll do it for fun. Maybe for profit.” and “You just need a 294 GRE, maybe take it and maybe get a 298 or higher.”
  3. Speculation and Hypothesis: A few sentences speculate about causes or reasons for certain situations, for instance, “Something in my system ” maybe my sky-high HDL, maybe my genes, maybe the exercise, or most likely a fortuitous synergy of all three ” was protecting me from heart disease despite my high LDL and total cholesterol numbers.”
  4. Emotional Expression: Some sentences convey emotional states or reactions to situations, such as “So maybe… hey, maybe someone will sit Jae In down and say, ” Now look here, Girl…” and “‘maybe someday things won’t always be this s%*t.’”

Overall, these sentences show how the word “maybe” can be used to express uncertainty, explore possibilities, speculate about causes or reasons, and convey emotional states.

  ” – WILL –Well, maybe that means you. SEAN Maybe what mea– WILL Maybe you were in the middle of a storm, a big fuckin’ storm —

  the league for you but if ever you role play, maybe as strangers, maybe as tom and jerry or maybe just whoever, its super adorable to be at

  on Stanton Street. # Bubba Beyla stayed alone in Europe maybe a year, maybe less than that. My father Jake and my brother Izzie already were here in

  if buying a $10 corndog is too much for you than maybe you right, maybe you should stay your broke azz home and watch the damn thang on tv.

  rounds. Were not saying Web Summit played a part, maybe it did, maybe it didn’t, but hopefully its a good example of the type of companies

  holds that people ought to be equal in material respects, maybe in wealth, maybe in resources, maybe various other ways that we can actually measure. That kind

  to be equal in material respects, maybe in wealth, maybe in resources, maybe various other ways that we can actually measure. That kind of equality does pose

  At this point I am not expecting anybody reading this… Maybe you are.. Maybe somebody in a far future.. like… 2016 or something, will read this

  If you can, present at least one of them; maybe about Drupal, maybe not. Connect with people outside of Drupal. Meet fresh faces; expose yourself

  work ” # It got me thinking. I thought well maybe it will work maybe it won’t. If it doesn’t it’s cos it will fill up and

  twiddle our thumbs. Doubts begin to creep in. ” Maybe I misunderstood. Maybe I angered God somehow. Maybe God decided not to show up. ” Watch

  would conclude maintenance costs are more for K1300S than FJR1300A. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not, but cost of factory discs ain’t enough. # Real

  CC: Love can conquer all, but not always. Maybe in Fionavar. Maybe after some thousand years of failure and penance in different versions of himself on different

  I can wear two hats and keep them separate. ” Maybe he can. Maybe you can. Either way, we’ll see what shakes out. # Reply

  his same question: what do you mean by -emptiness-+? Maybe -nothing-+?, maybe non-existence of matter, of atoms-+, but existence of space and time? For

  volumes of content. Maybe you’ll do it for fun. Maybe for profit. Maybe a brand will hire you to be their voice on Spotify. – # Marko,

  # I have no clue if this rule already exists. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe I just came up with a new rule. That

  : Something in my system ” maybe my sky-high HDL, maybe my genes, maybe the exercise, or most likely a fortuitous synergy of all three ” was protecting

  two different settings. You just need a 294 GRE, maybe take it and maybe get a 298 or higher. If anything, what she said should be a

  it to family, friends and potential fathers.) So maybe.. hey, maybe someone will sit Jae In down and say, ” Now look here, Girl

  brand new, never been played with before squeaky toy? Maybe you tried, maybe you didn’t and maybe the results would have been the same, maybe they

  ceramic capacitors across the switch to help with any debounce. Maybe 100nF ceramics. Maybe they are already on the board. but they wouldn’t hurt on the switches

  best to prove that his entire stories are made up. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. I don’t care, as I think the guy is

  i always had problems with that noise on high-gain patches. Maybe its me, maybe its something with the Axe. I don’t know. And that’s why I

  wants to see Jason Segel eat a photo of him. Maybe its sexual. Maybe its a promise he made to his dying grandfather. Maybe he just wants an

  , but a reason to live. Because it’s a maybe. A’ maybe someday things won’t always be this shit. And that’ maybe‘ immediately

  a certain warlock with glowing tattoos, would it?: Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.: Interesting. Maybe we can help you.: Then again, maybe

  not using crosswalks, both sides have to watch out. Maybe licence bikeriders? Maybe some excise tax? Spare me all bikers follow the rules of the road.

  I thought was going to happen. Probably nothing, but maybe something. # Maybe? # Please? # Yeah, no. # No one is coming.

  . # I cant tell you how long that will take maybe 25 years, maybe more. But I can tell you this: Theyre already on their way right

  , ” Hey ” and just start conversation with them and maybe date them, maybe just get shot down even, I feel like I can approach an entrepreneur and

  said that I shouldnt be as reluctant as I was. Maybe they’re right. Maybe they’re wrong, I don’t know. # JT: I’m really surprised,

  then? You heard nothing back. Not one iota. Maybe you did? Maybe you got as far as the interview? You gave up a full afternoon of

  who understands The importance of the moment for the water? maybe a saint, Maybe a poet, maybe a crazy man, or just someone temporarily disturbed With his

  of the moment for the water? maybe a saint, Maybe a poet, maybe a crazy man, or just someone temporarily disturbed With his mind ” floating,

  then the miniature railway. Then maybe to the dance, maybe a jive, maybe a gin and orange, and maybe… Iove. Kiss me quick and roll

  you’ll still love what you’re doing in 10 years. Or maybe not. Or maybe the job will stop loving you. You just don’t know. Better to

  . Maybe a progress bar, maybe a percentage meter, maybe periodic reports, maybe arcane symbols that flash meaning straight into your brain. We’ll discuss it next

  never play that damn game. They say I’m crazy and maybe I am. Maybe whatever it is that haunts me, took my sanity and hid it away.

  Human Copyrite yet a library person like government official?? Maybe I saved myself maybe I’m so sick of Dad. He s short chubby 82 wow with so much

  sync of the audio, make some trims and cuts, maybe some fades/transitions, maybe some color adjust, then render them out to an intermediate file format (codec

  Brady he’s got a lot of people can’t stand maybe it you know maybe. Think he’s Jeter. And this is Super Bowl trophies are tainted.

  on their way out after so long. Who knows? Maybe they are? Maybe I’ve got the wrong specs? Maybe I could quit being so cheap &

  you want to reinvigorate the interior design of a room that’s maybe gone stale. Maybe you still like the color scheme and the furniture but it feels like it needs

  right now, have to be hard coded in somewhere, maybe in units, maybe in equations, but somewhere. # As a reference for anyone encountering this discussion

  of his probation is ” good and lawful conduct. ” Maybe a possibility, maybe not, but I suspect no tears would be shed if he violated his probation–particularly

  ) # But is this evidence that meat-eating is unnatural? Maybe so, but maybe not. On the one hand we expect that’s what’s natural for us

  ,, I know that a chart has been posted, maybe generic.. and maybe some have put up the amounts for your specific machine…. # Well,,

  some nerves in the auditory system had ” healed ” and maybe recalibrated, and maybe this whole tinnitus saga would be over with… Wishful thinking, I know,

  in some ways, but not quite right for me. Maybe nowhere is. Maybe I just need a place to spend a couple of months each winter. #

  wouldn’t think it was right either, but then again maybe it is. Maybe it bothers me because of how I feel about them and BM. (I

  girl who loves dogs, cats, birds, hamsters or maybe even rabbits? Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a pet at home, or even two or

  answers and see if you can find a common thread, maybe its obvious, maybe not, but there is a thread. Even if its an underlying thread that

  I think I’d want a fixed blade. For the price maybe a CRK. Maybe I’ll just wait a year or two and pick up an old SR in need

  claim that the 911 is more profitable than the Cayman, maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, the figures have never been shared, but the 911 pales in

  was a chemical change in there (with the oxy packets maybe?? or maybe just the brand of rice?), but since it tastes fine we continue

  into a clothing store. I wish I was that interesting maybe I am. Maybe there’s a little you in all of us (not in THAT way cough)

  haven’t touched the Panzer III since I got the news. Maybe it changes. Maybe I hit a stride once I get through the frustrating **31;442;TOOLONG routine Im stuck in

  I have not ever done a power test on it, maybe I should, maybe 10W/channel. Those Russian 6V6’s really are the ducks nuts I reckon, and

  a subject of the Roman Cult enthroned at Vatican Hill? Maybe you have, maybe you have not. But most people would never have heard of this original and

  passage just didn’t sparkle for me as the Deepest Joy maybe, and just maybe, this short passage didn’t do justice on the entire WHOLE passage of the

  , I suspect, is that were starting to fear: Maybe that’s us. Maybe that’s who we are now. As if these aren’t separate and discrete crimes

  vision etc. # Ready or not divorce brings changes – maybe some welcomed, maybe some not. But do not let the financial issues became a reason to stay

  else comes along, and turns your murderous photography into art maybe good art, maybe bad art, but in any case it isn’t advertising cancer sticks. # And

  their facility. From the Academy, you are looking at MAYBE a week… Maybe. Re: PCS/Relocation Travel Days and Per Diem # Perhaps his advice was

  their facility. From the Academy, you are looking at MAYBE a week… Maybe. # Sounds like he knows his facility. Upon grad, call ahead and

  casual walk might have a fast lens or walking zoom and maybe a flash, maybe even a small diffuser. It would be helpful to work with that setup #

  me at our hotel I aim to get this (and maybe the shawl and maybe the socks) done before that. Joe leaves tomorrow, but I’m staying behind

  this little guy, just not very big at all, maybe 170 pounds, maybe 160, I don’t know. And they started doing the six-item test where

  assets, like debts due to it, has increased, maybe a lot, maybe a little. So the shares are still, and will always be, nominally

  what you can when surveyed to raise the local allowance; maybe you can, maybe you cant. The one thing you can do for sure is to learn to

  (when hell let us) and use the potty, maybe put on PJs maybe be naked, books (2-3 depending on the time), songs (recently

  , he was wearing very casual clothing, oh, like maybe a dishwasher, maybe he’s a student, maybe he’s ” I mean all these things which

  she feels thankful for in that month of the year. Maybe its snow; maybe its a birthday; maybe its a special place the family visits. Whatever it

  with little culture or refinement to speak of. # Or maybe, well, maybe the truth of it is we just live in a society that rewards boobs (

  is why didn’t Brera have the disease? Eh, maybe he did and maybe that’s why he’s a cyborg now. 55801 qwx675801 55802 qwx675802 # The

  ‘ve been wondering what happened he was just laying there and maybe he farted or maybe it just happened this has happened with Sydney in the past, but it was

  in the free time I get while still earning, and maybe look around, maybe jobhunt again, blablaonly I really do not know if have got the energy to

  yr they come back & everything falls anything place for them maybe, then again maybe not. BTW Love Chris Neil & don’t begrudge him one second of ice

  of it at this stage. I hope they are! Maybe you’re right, maybe Meath and Kildare should take a good look at themselves and start to organize themselves

  ” on the Raptor, the Eagle and the Viper… Maybe, but just maybe you-ve flown 15000 hours in every jet aircraft in the USAF? # Sorry,

  some Sabians. I cracked those after a few years (maybe 1 years, maybe 4 years) but that also may have had to do with how I played

  was’ boring’, maybe she not a conversationalist, maybe she pmsing, maybe because they aren’t that close and she feels uncomfortable (if this was the

  said that there is something I don’t quite know, maybe another women or maybe not, but there is definitely something hidden to found out! Maybe I will

  starting to think I want to be a teacher, and maybe a scientist. Maybe a chemical scientist. I like to look at stuff blow up. ” #

  to begin with. # Maybe I’ll gather the strength. Maybe I wont. Maybe I’ll just put up new, better crown, but that sounds hard too.

  , better crown, but that sounds hard too. And maybe expensive. And maybe like something that might not look great. But could it look worse? Maybe

  That’s because I thought I was getting better; I thought maybe soon I would maybe get back use of my hands or who knows maybe even learn to walk.

  already tried but at this stage I’d try everything. Maybe False Hope BUT maybe NOT…… You can have Hospice Care and still do Raw Foods, Juicing and

  some people? # RS: I don’t know. Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not. Maybe at the spiritual level Im being protected. Theres been,

  RS: I don’t know. Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not. Maybe at the spiritual level Im being protected. Theres been, like a lot I’ve

  What team could use Lind? 213595 qwx1073595 # 4:39 # Maybe the Rockies. Maybe the White Sox. Don’t think there will be a big market for 1B/DH

  the key things that really irritate you about the situation. Maybe he snores. Maybe she keeps the TV on while you do homework. Whatever it is, do

  players are ready to play for the first team. So maybe they will, maybe Chelsea will also. But I think it’s very important. # Q:

  # Standing next to Tumur, was ecstatic. ” Maybe next year, maybe five years later, they will be champions, ” he said with a smile

  Phil has a conscience that keeps everyone honest. Well, maybe not everyone and maybe not entirely honest, but Phil does have a conscience, and his sense of

  we’ll see a number of Irish Government people there. Maybe the Taoiseach. Maybe a minister. There are ministers from just about other major European nation attending.

  Sprigg lent his name to the mysterious segmented species maybe a worm, maybe a frond, maybe something like the later trilobites. # While Reg Sprigg continued

  to the mysterious segmented species maybe a worm, maybe a frond, maybe something like the later trilobites. # While Reg Sprigg continued his search for uranium

  emotional standpoint. Think about it: Feelings change frequently — maybe every day, maybe more often than that. Your emotional state has a lot to do with how

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