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Peut-être Meaning & Translation – Maybe in French

Peut-être Meaning & Translation – Maybe in French

Today’s lesson will focus on peut-être, an essential French adverb. Meanings include maybe, perhaps, possibly and might. For example, Elle va peut-être venir (Maybe she’ll come). Let’s get straight to the example sentences!




Peut-être Meaning & Translation

The literal meaning of peut-être is “can to be”. Peut is the third-person singular (il/elle) form of the verb pouvoir (can, to be able to). Être is the infinitive form (to form) of the verb “to be” in French.

Example sentences peut-être

In our first example sentence, peut-être is being used a quick interjection: “maybe”.

Est-ce que tu vas apprendre tous les mots ? – Peut-être.

Are you going to learn the words? – Maybe.

As mentioned above, peut-être has four possible translations including maybe, perhaps, possibly and might. Hence, the following example sentence could just as easily translate to “Marie might arrive tomorrow” or “Marie will possibly arrive tomorrow”, for example.

Marie arrivera peut-être demain.

Marie will maybe arrive tomorrow.

Example of how to use peut-être in French
Est-ce qu’elle va venir demain? – Peut-être! Will she come tomorrow? Maybe!

This next example sentence uses the word vacances (vacation), which we explained in this post. This sentence could also translate to “I will perhaps” or “I will posssibly” extend my vacation.

Je vais peut-être prolonger mes vacances.

I might extend my vacation.

In this final example, other translations include “possibly” or “perhaps” another time.

Je ne peux pas rester aujourd’hui, mais peut-être une autre fois.

I can’t stay today – maybe another time.


Was this lesson of any use to you? Peut-être (maybe)! Now consider having a look at some of our other Word of the Day lesson including que veut dire (what does _ mean?) and vers/envers (towards) and ainsi (like this).

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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