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Bài 1: English In A Minute
Give us a minute and we'll give you English

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  1. 1 English In A Minute

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Welcome to English In A Minute. Give us a minute and we'll give you a hot tip about English. Grammar, vocabulary... there's so much to learn! And all taught by your favourite BBC Learning English staff!

Bài tập 1

Maybe vs may be

Do you have a minute to spare to learn some English? Dan's going to demonstrate the difference between 'maybe' and 'may be'. Give us 60 seconds and we'll give you the English!

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Dan
Hi, everyone! What's the difference between 'maybe' and 'may be'? Well, we're going to find out in this English In A Minute.

May is used to express possibility – usually not a very certain one. It's a modal verb so it's always followed by a bare infinitive. The bare infinitive of 'be' is… be! Using the two together, we can make a sentence: Don't call her. She may be at work!

Now, maybe is just one word. It's an adverb and it has a few uses. Most commonly, it means 'perhaps' or 'possibly'. In this case, it's often the first word in the sentence. Don’t' call her. Maybe she's at work!

However, put it in front of an amount to mean 'around' or 'approximately'. This video will be seen by maybe a million people. Make it happen, people!

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Maybe vs May be

May
May
is used to talk about possibility - and not a very certain one. May is a modal verb. This means that it doesn't change its form for different subject pronouns or to show time. Modal verbs are always followed by a bare infinitive verb.  

  • I may be home soon.
  • She may call later.

May be
May
is always followed by a bare infinitive verb. The bare infinitive form of 'be' is 'be'! 

  • She may be at work.
  • It may be about to rain.

Maybe
Maybe
is an adverb with a few different uses. Most commonly, it means  'perhaps' or 'possibly'. When used in this way, maybe goes at the beginning of the sentence. If we use maybe in front of an amount, it can mean 'around' or 'approximately'.

  • Maybe she's at work.
  • Maybe we'll take a holiday this year.
  • This video will be seen by maybe a million people!
  • I've got maybe five pounds in my pocket.

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