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what's the difference between perhaps and maybe?

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    They can be used interchangeably but of the two, maybe is very appropriate for more informal contexts and perhaps is used in more formal situations. Compare the following:

    I can't find it anywhere. ~ Perhaps / Maybe you threw it away.
    How old is Jane? ~ I don't really know. In her twenties, certainly. Twenty-five, maybe.
    There were perhaps as many as fifty badly wounded soldiers in the hospital.
    Perhaps I should explain to you how they came to be there.
    St Paul's Cathedral is perhaps one of London's most prominent landmarks.
    Why don't you join us for the New Year celebrations? ~ Yeah, perhaps / maybe I will.
    Maybe you are right! Perhaps it would be best if you didn't invite Johnnie

    Note that perhaps is pronounced 'praps'. Note also from the above illustrations that perhaps and maybe can be used to refer to past, present or future events.

    In British English both of these adverbs are still very commonly used and have the same meaning. You use them to say that something is possible or may be true, but you are not certain.

    Main Entry: maybe
    Part of Speech: adverb
    Definition: possibly
    Synonyms: as it may be, can be, conceivable, conceivably, could be, credible, feasible, imaginably, it could be, might be, obtainable, perchance, perhaps, weather permitting
    Notes: may be is two words and means possible existence or action; while maybe means perhaps
    Antonyms: certainly, definitely, surely

    Main Entry: perhaps
    Part of Speech: adverb
    Definition: possibly
    Synonyms: as it may be, as the case may be, conceivably, feasibly, for all one knows, imaginably, it may be, maybe, perchance, reasonably
    Antonyms: improbably, never, unlikely

    Main Entry: possibly
    Part of Speech: adverb
    Definition: by chance; in some way
    Synonyms: God willing, at all, by any chance, by any means, conceivably, could be, if possible, in any way, likely, maybe, not impossibly, peradventure, perchance, perhaps, probably, within realm of possibility
    Antonyms: impossibly, unlikely

    From the explanation, I do not think "Perhaps" and "Maybe" have a clear difference.If have to find, I think the thing will have more chance to happen if you use "Perhaps", more than using " Maybe".

    Hope you can have a clear understanding those two words.

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