Using El Subjuntivo or El Indicativo after tal vez and quizás to express doubt

We use the words tal vez, quizás or quizá followed by indicative or subjunctive to express probability or doubt. (I/you may or might... etc or It is possible that...).

If the probability/doubt is related to a present or future situation, you will find El Presente de Indicativo or El Presente de Subjuntivo

See and listen to the following examples:

No sé qué me pasa; quizás estoy un poco nervioso.I don't know what is wrong with me; I may be a bit nervous.

No sé qué me pasa; quizás esté un poco nervioso.I don't know what is wrong with me; I may be a bit nervous.

Tal vez voy al concierto esta noche.I might go to the concert tonight.

Tal vez vaya al concierto esta noche.I might go to the concert tonight.

If the probability/doubt is related to a past situation, you will find past tenses both in the indicative and the subjunctive.

See and listen to the folowing examples:

Quizá Miguel no aprobó.Miguel may not have passed.

Quizá Miguel no aprobara.Miguel may not have passed.

Quizá Miguel no ha aprobado.Miguel may not have passed.

Quizá Miguel no haya aprobado.Miguel may not have passed.

ATTENTION: The words tal vez, quizás and quizá may be placed at the end of the sentence as well, but, if that is the case, it will not accept the subjunctive mood, only the indicative.

Miguel no haya aprobado tal vez.

Miguel no ha aprobado tal vez.

Here are more examples:

Tal vez vaya a la playa mañana.I may go to the beach tomorrow.

Tal vez tengas la gripe.You may have the flu.

Quizás vuelva algún día.She/he may come back one day.

Quizás lleguemos tarde.We might be late.

Tal vez seáis felices algún día.You may be happy one day.

Tal vez quieran cenar tarde.They may want to have dinner late.

Quizás el vuelo se retrasó.The flight may have been delayed.

Tal vez los niños no fueron al colegio.The children may have not gone to school.

Both with the indicative and the subjunctive the intensity of probability or doubt is the same, so they are interchangeable.

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Examples and resources

Tal vez tengas la gripe.You may have the flu.
Quizá Miguel no aprobó.Miguel may not have passed.
Tal vez los niños no fueron al colegio.The children may have not gone to school.
Tal vez voy al concierto esta noche.I might go to the concert tonight.
Tal vez quieran cenar tarde.They may want to have dinner late.
Quizá Miguel no haya aprobado.Miguel may not have passed.
No sé qué me pasa; quizás estoy un poco nervioso.I don't know what is wrong with me; I may be a bit nervous.
Quizás lleguemos tarde.We might be late.
Quizá Miguel no ha aprobado.Miguel may not have passed.
Tal vez vaya a la playa mañana.I may go to the beach tomorrow.
Tal vez vaya al concierto esta noche.I might go to the concert tonight.
Quizás vuelva algún día.She/he may come back one day.
Quizás el vuelo se retrasó.The flight may have been delayed.
Quizá Miguel no aprobara.Miguel may not have passed.
Tal vez seáis felices algún día.You may be happy one day.
No sé qué me pasa; quizás esté un poco nervioso.I don't know what is wrong with me; I may be a bit nervous.
Getting that for you now.