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Perhaps/Maybe

Cours gratuits > Forum > Forum anglais: Questions sur l'anglais || En bas

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Perhaps/Maybe
Message de lrjrx818 posté le 07-04-2011 à 15:16:23 (S | E | F)
Hello,
Please, When I attended school(many years ago), I've been told that an Englishman says "perhaps" and an American says "maybe".
Is it still true ?
Thank you
-------------------
Modifié par bridg le 07-04-2011 16:30
Titre



Réponse: Perhaps/Maybe de gerondif, postée le 07-04-2011 à 15:36:36 (S | E)
Hello,
When I attended school(many years ago), I was told that an Englishman says "perhaps" and an American says "maybe".
Is it still true ?

Maybe, but I think both are used everywhere now.





Réponse: Perhaps/Maybe de lrjrx818, postée le 07-04-2011 à 15:38:38 (S | E)
Well that is easier for everyone - Thank you



Réponse: Perhaps/Maybe de rosbos, postée le 07-04-2011 à 17:49:39 (S | E)
Hello,

Last year, I had an English course.
Our teacher explained us to use:
- Say is used to say that something could be true or could happen, but you are not sure.
- Perhaps is used to say that something may be true, but you are not sure.
Thanks

-------------------
Modifié par lucile83 le 07-04-2011 18:00 je ne comprends pas tout...



Réponse: Perhaps/Maybe de lrjrx818, postée le 07-04-2011 à 17:53:08 (S | E)
Hello
OK that's another explanation - Thanks



Réponse: Perhaps/Maybe de notrepere, postée le 07-04-2011 à 18:28:25 (S | E)
Hello

My quick research on the internet tells me that "maybe" and "perhaps" are used almost equally in the UK, while "maybe" is twice as common as "perhaps" on non-UK websites.

UK Websites:
maybe = 56 000 000
perhaps = 50 200 000

Non-UK Websites:
maybe = 2 480 000 000
perhaps = 1 200 000 000

I think of "perhaps" as being much more formal than "maybe", but it really depends on the context. Oxford gives many clear examples of usage of both terms. Oxford says "perhaps" is considered synonymous with "maybe" in all cases, but "maybe" is only considered synonymous with "perhaps" in the first case.

perhaps: Lien Internet

maybe: Lien Internet






Réponse: Perhaps/Maybe de lrjrx818, postée le 09-04-2011 à 09:29:37 (S | E)
Hello,
Thank you for this well-documented response




Réponse: Perhaps/Maybe de nouhast, postée le 09-04-2011 à 18:48:13 (S | E)
Hello,
I
think that when we are sure we use perhaps, and when we aren't we use maybe.
Thanks.

-------------------
Modifié par lucile83 le 09-04-2011 22:10



Réponse: Perhaps/Maybe de sean, postée le 09-04-2011 à 21:03:20 (S | E)
Hello,

I think notrepere was on the right track. The words 'perhaps' and 'maybe' are used almost interchangeably, however:

'Perhaps' has a more formal tone than 'maybe'.

Perhaps, I don't know or I don't know, perhaps. (formal)
Maybe, I don't know or I don't know, maybe. (informal)

Perhaps/Maybe we made a mistake coming here.
but
I wonder if, perhaps, we made a mistake coming here. (not 'maybe')

Maybe you would do that... (not 'perhaps'. Informal, sets a suggestive or scornful tone.)

-------------------
Modifié par lucile83 le 09-04-2011 22:11



Réponse: Perhaps/Maybe de may, postée le 10-04-2011 à 02:36:42 (S | E)
Bonsoir,

Perhaps, I don't know or I don't know, perhaps.
Maybe, I don't know or I don't know, maybe.


Perhaps these phrases would need some more information at the end





Réponse: Perhaps/Maybe de sean, postée le 11-04-2011 à 09:39:20 (S | E)
Hi May,

Well, as we've said, 'perhaps' tends to be used in a slightly more formal context.

This could be a business situation, e.g.
"Do you think the new manager will be up to the task?"
"I don't know, perhaps. We shall have to wait and see."
(Of course, "do not" may or may not be contracted to "don't" as shown above.)

Formal or literary language, e.g.
"He might prove a useful ally yet."
"Perhaps..."

"See, you need not worry about him."
"Perhaps..."

Preference of words like 'perhaps' over 'maybe' or 'shall' over 'will' could be due to dialect or social class. What seems formal to an American might be quite natural to an Englishman.

'Maybe' is often used in an informal setting, e.g.

"Do you think we have enough petrol to make it to the next town?"
"Maybe, I don't know."

"Are you coming to the party tonight?"
"I don't know, maybe."

"You like her, don't you!"
"I don't know, maybe..."

The difference is so subtle. Unless you're speaking the Queen's English, you really need not worry about it.




Réponse: Perhaps/Maybe de lrjrx818, postée le 11-04-2011 à 09:52:34 (S | E)
Hello,
We might have an entire course on the difference between both words .... maybe!
I think it is too subtle for a beginner to make the difference when he speaks.
Thanks to all of you for the information, it will be helpful.




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