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Discover the French word "Peut-être"

Get ready to find out everything you need to know about the basic French word "Peut-être". It includes a detailed explanation of what it is and how you can use it in everyday life with an audio example. But, we also added super useful stuff like slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example, synonym and more!

French to English

  • Translation : Maybe

  • Register : Neutral - Basic




  • IPA : / pøɛtʁ /

aesthetic french quote peut etre

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What does peut-être mean?


The literal meaning is:

It's the most famous French way to say "Maybe" or "Perhaps" or even "Possibly".

We can use it in different ways as you will see in the next section. Also, don't forget to check the "Synonyms" section below for all the variations of "Peut-être" you can use!

How to use it

First, like in English, do not confuse the expression "Peut-être" with a hyphen which means "Maybe" and the group of words "Peut être" without hyphen which means "Can/May be".

For example, if you want to say "He can/may be stupid sometimes" → "Il peut être bête parfois" (WITHOUT hyphen). But if you want to say "Maybe he is stupid" → "Peut-être qu'il est bête" (WITH hyphen)

The structure "Peut-être + que" is used very often when you want to precise what your "Maybe" is about.

Another structure is to put it at the end of your sentence to add uncertainty when you are not sure about your assumption or statement: "Elle ne voulait pas venir, peut-être" → "She didn't want to come, maybe".

Finally, you can use it as a standalone answer when you are unsure and can't say "Yes" or "No". For example, someone asks you "Tu viens ce soir ?" (Are you coming tonight?) but you don't know yet, you can say: "Peut-être" (Maybe).


And some antonyms:

↓ Example in a story with slow French audio ↓

Finally, let's see an example in a parallel story with slow audio.

Chasse à la boucle d'oreille

Earring hunt

KarineChéri, tu as vu ma boucle d'oreille ?
Honey, did you see my earring?
RémiTu ne viens pas de la mettre il y a deux minutes ?
Didn't you just put it on two minutes ago?
KarineSi, mais quelques secondes après, elle a disparu...
Yes, but a few seconds later, it disappeared...
RémiOh mon Dieu ! Et si c'était... un fantôme ?!
Oh my God! What if it was... a ghost?!
KarineTrès drôle, très drôle. Mais sérieusement, tu as une idée ?
Very funny, very funny. But seriously, do you have an idea?
RémiEh bien... laisse-moi réfléchir. Tu as cherché dans la salle de bain ?
Well... let me think. Did you search in the bathroom?
KarineOui, bien sûr.
Yes, of course.


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S'te plaît


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Bonne fête des pères

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