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Ana Carolina Miranda
Perhaps and Maybe What's the difference between "perhaps" and "maybe" and when should I use them? Translated they mean the same in portuguese. In english I know they have differences but I don't know what is or why.
Aug 28, 2019 4:17 AM
Answers · 7
The only difference between them is that 'maybe' a little more casual or informal. In conversation, you tend to hear 'maybe' more for this reason, but 'perhaps' is still often spoken - it really depends on the person. In writing 'perhaps' becomes more common as writing tends to be more formal.
August 28, 2019
As mentioned by others, this is just the case of formal vs casual. I have given two examples below: Formal = "Perhaps we could try to renegotiate the deal" Casual = "Maybe we could get Chinese food for dinner"
August 28, 2019
For over 98% of speaking perhaps and maybe are synonyms. There are a few rare occasions when perhaps is maybe a better word to use. "maybe" = it might happen. "perhaps" = depending upon chance, is the original meaning. The song "perhaps it never will" is about this chance and maybe will not work in this song. The times when maybe or perhaps should be used or preferred are few and far between in current English. But there will be times when one word is better than the other.
August 29, 2019
Hi Ana. Perhaps is just a bit more formal than maybe. Perhaps is more common in academic writing while maybe is more likely in conversation. It is not really a dramatic difference. Hope this helps, Ellen
August 28, 2019
Ana Carolina Miranda
Language Skills
English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish
Learning Language
English, French, German, Spanish