There are different ways to say maybe in Italian. What are these? Let’s find out in this lesson.
Let’s start! Iniziamo!
How do you say maybe in Italian?
Forse is what you will most commonly hear in Italy with the meaning of “maybe”.
It is an adverb and it conveys doubt or uncertainty about a situation.
Forse domani pioverà.
Maybe it will rain tomorrow.
Forse dovremmo riparlarne domani.
Maybe we should talk about it again tomorrow.
It can also be used in questions to confirm or verify something, similarly to a question tag.
Ettore non è forse il marito di Carla? O mi sbaglio?
Isn’t Hector Carla’s husband? Or am I mistaken?
You can also find forse in the expression essere in forse, translating to be in doubt about something, as in…
Essere in forse
To be in doubt
Sono in forse se dirglielo o no.
I am in doubt whether to tell him or not.
Aiuta Lingookies con un 👍!
Maybe, perhaps, may; if only
Magari is another popular translation for maybe in Italian. It’s very similar to forse to the point of being interchangeable, but it cannot be used in questions as a tag.
Luca non è in casa? Magari è uscito senza dire nulla.
Luca isn’t at home? Maybe he went out without saying anything.
It can also translate may, especially in the expression “may not + verb”.
Magari Mattia non sarà intelligente, ma è simpatico e onesto.
Mattia may not be smart, but he is nice and honest.
Differently from forse, magari can be used as an exclamation following something you are longing for.
Vorresti possedere un’auto da corsa? – Magari!
Would you like to own a race car? – If only!
Forse mia suocera si trasferirà all’estero… Magari fosse vero!
Maybe my mother-in-law will move abroad…. I wish that were true!
Probabilmente is used to translate maybe in Italian to talk about probabilities, as you can probably already guess. It’s not used to express a doubt.
Probabilmente è una domanda stupida, ma perché il cielo è azzurro?
This is probably a stupid question, but why is the sky blue?
La Gioconda è probabilmente il dipinto più famoso mai realizzato.
The Mona Lisa is probably the most famous painting ever created.
Può darsi, può essere
Può darsi (che)
It may be (that)
Maybe, it may be
Può darsi and può essere are two expressions to translate maybe in Italian that use verbs instead of an adverb.
Può is a conjugation of the verb potere, can, meaning “it can”.
Darsi literally means “to give oneself” and essere means “to be”. It can be a little tricky to give a literal translation of può darsi, but you can easily guess that può essere means it can be. Let’s make a few examples.
Tornerai a Firenze a fine anno? – Può darsi.
Will you return to Florence at the end of the year? – Maybe I will.
Può darsi che Stefano non superi l’esame.
It’s possible that Stefano will not pass the exam.
Pensi che domani nevicherà? – Può essere.
Do you think it will snow tomorrow? – It may be.
That’s it! Now you know all the ways to say maybe in Italian!
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