8 Different Ways That You Can Say Maybe In Spanish

  • Jada Lòpez
    Written byJada Lòpez
    Jada LòpezSpanish teacher, translator
    🎓 B.A., Translation and Interpreting English and Spanish, Universidad de Granada
    🎓 M.A., Formación de Profesores de Español como Lengua Extranjera (ELE), Universidad Pablo de Olavide

    Passionate language teacher and translator. Wife, mother of 3 and amateur surfer.
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8 Different Ways That You Can Say Maybe In Spanish

You can choose from plenty of options if you want to say “maybe” in Spanish.

Here, I’ll give you some useful options for saying “maybe” in Spanish to add to what you’ve learned in your Spanish course.

I’ve provided usage examples as well, so you can see how Spanish speakers use them in different contexts.

How to say maybe in Spanish

Here’s a list of useful terms and expressions for saying maybe in Spanish (in no particular order).

1. A lo mejor

Many native Spanish speakers use this Spanish three-word phrase.

It might seem a bit wordy, but just remember that a lo mejor means “maybe” in English.

Spanish speakers typically use it in colloquial contexts to express doubt or possibility.

It’s what’s called an adverbial locution that can modify sentences to suggest that the speaker is unsure whether an event will happen.

Unlike some of the other words and phrases on this list, Spanish speakers don’t use a lo mejor with the subjunctive tense to say “maybe” in Spanish (which is one less thing to worry about).

Usage examples:

Listen to audio

A lo mejor Juan viene mañana. Espero que traiga chocolate.

Maybe Juan will come tomorrow. I hope he brings chocolate.
Listen to audio

A lo mejor Ana va a mejorar dentro de un rato. No se encuentra bien.

Maybe Ana will get better soon. She doesn't feel well.

2. Puede ser

When you translate puede ser literally, it means “can be.”

It’s a common phrase that you’ll hear in many Spanish-speaking countries. However, use puede ser when you want to say “maybe” in Spanish since that’s what it means.

Puede ser combines the Spanish verb poder, which means “can,” and the verb ser “to be.”

There is a similar equivalent Spanish phrase puede que, which Spanish speakers used in the same contexts as puede ser.

However, remember that you should use puede que with the subjunctive mode.

Usage examples::

Listen to audio

¿Va a comprar una casita en las afueras de la ciudad?

Is he going to buy a little house in the city's outskirts?
Listen to audio

Puede ser. Depende de los precios y cuánto ahorre.

Maybe. It depends on the prices and how much he saves.
Listen to audio

Puede que sea difícil encontrar una casita preciosa como la de Fabiola.

It may be difficult to find a beautiful little house like Fabiola's.
Listen to audio

Puede que tenga suerte. Puede que encuentre una casa bonita si sigue buscando y ahorrando dinero.

Maybe he's lucky. Maybe he will find a nice house if he keeps looking and saving money.

3. Quizá/Quizás

You don’t have to stick to puede ser!

There are other phrases to choose from, such as quizá and quizás. Both of them mean “maybe” when you translate them into English.

Although you might wonder when you should use quizá and when to use quizás, here’s the good news: You can use them interchangeably.

Feel free to use quizá or quizás when you want to say “maybe” in Spanish, as they’re both acceptable, and you’ll find them both in the Royal Spanish Academy dictionary.

Usage examples::

Listen to audio

¿Va a llover hoy o mañana?

Is it going to rain today or tomorrow?
Listen to audio

Creo que quizá llueva mañana.

I think that maybe it will rain tomorrow.
Listen to audio

¿Vas a la fiesta de Sara?

Are you going to Sara's party?
Listen to audio

Quizás sí.

Maybe I will.

4. Igual

Although you will receive the word “same” when you translate the Spanish word igual, it is also used in Spain if you want to say “maybe” in Spanish.

The translators are not wrong, though.

Igual can also mean “equal.”

If you want to compare between two things and mention that they are the same, you can use igual in this situation. For example:

Listen to audio

Estas manzanas son iguales. Son rojos, grandes y dulces.

These apples are the same. They're red, big and sweet.

Use igual when you want to say “maybe,” and don’t confuse this European Spanish meaning with the Latin American definition – igual means “anyway” in colloquial contexts in Latin America.

Usage examples::

Listen to audio

¿Crees que te casarás cuando tengas 30 años?

Do you think you will get married by the time you're 30?
Listen to audio

Igual sí. Depende de muchas cosas, pero quería casarme antes de los cuarenta.

Maybe, yes. It depends on many things, but I'd like to get married before I'm 40.
Listen to audio

¿Crees que comprarás el vestido de novia blanco o dorado?

Do you think you'll buy the white wedding dress or the gold one?
Listen to audio

Igual compraré el vestido blanco.

Maybe I'll buy the white dress.

5. Posiblemente

If you’re unsure whether an event will happen, but there is a slight chance it will occur, you can use _posiblemente _ to say “maybe” in Spanish, just as you use the English word “possibly.”

One thing to help you remember this word is that it combines the Spanish word posible with the suffix mente.

You’ll notice many words like this when studying Spanish in a course.

For instance, the similar word probablemente has a similar meaning to posiblemente and uses the same construction – (but we’ll get to this word later!)

You can think of the suffix -mente the same way you would use the English suffix “-ly.”

Usage examples::

Listen to audio

Ella es, posiblemente, la más honesta de todas las chicas que he conocido.

She is possibly the most honest of all the girls I have ever met.
Listen to audio

Alex es, posiblemente, el más vago de todos los chicos que he conocido.

Alex is possibly the laziest of all the guys I've ever met.

6. Tal vez

Tal vez is another phrase that you can use to say “maybe” in Spanish.

Spanish speakers sometimes use it with the subjunctive mode but also with the indicative mode, which complicates things a bit.

Use tal vez with the indicative when you are pretty confident the event will happen and use it with the subjunctive when you want to show that you doubt the event will happen.

Usage examples::

Listen to audio

Tal vez mañana podamos comer chocos en un restaurante cerca del mar.

Maybe tomorrow we can eat squid in a restaurant near the sea.
Listen to audio

Tal vez sea difícil encontrar trabajo después de este incidente.

Maybe it will be difficult to find work after this incident.
Listen to audio

Lo bueno, tal vez, es que trabaja muy bien con sus compañeros.

The good thing, maybe, is that he works very well with his colleagues.

7. Es posible que

Es posible que is another phrase to add to your vocabulary.

It means “it’s posible that.” Spanish speakers use this phrase when they are unsure whether something will happen or think the probability of something happening is very low.

Now, since it features the word que and Spanish speakers use the phrase to convey doubt, you should use it with the subjunctive mode.

Usage examples::

Listen to audio

Es posible que Patricia venga mañana para enseñarles como cantar en inglés.

It's possible that Patricia will come tomorrow to teach them how to sing in English.
Listen to audio

Es posible que Patricia no venga a las once porque hay una huelga de transporte.

It's posible that Patricia will not come at 11 o'clock because there's a transport strike.

8. Probablemente

Probablemente means “probably” in English.

You can remember this word by keeping in mind that it combines the Spanish word probable, which means “probable” and the suffix mente, which is like the English suffix “-ly” (as mentioned above).

Spanish speakers use the word probablemente when there is a degree of credibility to the event they are describing.

They use it to describe events that they believe to be true or believe will occur. It means “maybe” in Spanish, but the speaker thinks it will likely happen.

There is a subtle difference when we compare this to the word posiblemente.

Spanish speakers use posiblemente when they are unsure if something will occur but think it’s possible. With posiblemente, the speaker doubts that it will happen.

Usage examples::

Listen to audio

¿Cuándo vas a cortarle el pelo? Es muy largo, ya.

When are you going to cut his hair? It's very long already.
Listen to audio

Probablemente le corte el pelo en los meses de verano, que hace mucho calor.

Probably I'll cut his hair in the summer months because it's very hot.
Listen to audio

¿Cuándo vamos a tomar un café juntos?

When are we going to have a coffee together?
Listen to audio

Probablemente en invierno, que estoy muy ocupado de momento.

Probably in winter, because I'm very busy at the moment.

Use these expressions for “maybe” in Spanish if you’re not sure about something

If you’re not sure if you can attend a party, or go out with your friends in Spain due to a busy schedule, fear not.

You now have a list of different ways to say “maybe” in Spanish and let your friends down gently.

Practice using these phrases when you speak with friends and family, and soon you’ll be speaking confidently in any situation.

Have you got any other words or phrases that mean “maybe” in Spanish?

Share them just below in the comments section!

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