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Is it correct to use a sentence starting with Maybe as a question, eq.

Maybe I'll come sometime on Sunday?

Maybe I can help you?

I suspect it is acceptable form for spoken informal context but not sure.

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  • "Maybe" isn't the problem, it's the question mark that marks the statement that's not a real question (at least not in its form) as a question. This might come off as informal.
    – user3395
    Dec 26, 2016 at 14:28
  • I think it works better when the subject is not I. Consider your sentence without maybe: I'll come sometime on Sunday? -- Unless the context is right, it'll sound strange because you turn your intention into a question. Adding maybe will make it sound even stranger. On the other hand, a sentence such as (asking your friend to confirm your idea) Maybe he was right?, which is cast as a question, is fine. Dec 26, 2016 at 15:12
  • @DamkerngT. The context here is that someone is making suggestion that he wants to pay a visit to someone he is talking to. I also added another example - "Maybe I can help you?"
    – AlexD
    Dec 26, 2016 at 15:21

2 Answers 2

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Whether or not it's "grammatically correct", at least here in the US, people say this kind of thing all the time. Something like:

Maybe I'll come by next Saturday?

is definitely a question, one that is asking for permission or approval. Asking:

Maybe I can help you?

is the same as asking "Can I help you?" but with more uncertainty whether you want or need my help.

That being said, you shouldn't confuse this with the "rhetorical question" structure that is a statement:

Maybe you should have gone to the bathroom before we left the house?

This is not a question, but a statement saying "It would have been a good idea if you had ..." Similarly:

Don't you think it would have been good to go to the bathroom before leaving the house?

Prefacing a question with "maybe" is informal, and is more common in certain cultures and dialects than others, so I would be careful using it -- especially since the regular question structure is always acceptable.

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Since you used "maybe" in your statement, it no longer is a question. Maybe can't come in an interrogative question, and you shall never see it, you will only see it as an answer, not as a question:

Will you come back next week? - Maybe I will come back next week.

Maybe means a possibility, and there are others ways to turn your statement into a possibility question: Will I be back anytime on Sunday? It's the closest I got in turning your statement into a possibility question.

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