Main Difference – Perhaps vs. Maybe
Perhaps and maybe are two adverbs that mean the same. We use both adverbs when we want to indicate a possibility or uncertainty. In this sense, these two words can be used interchangeably. However, there is a distinct difference in the usage of these two words. We mostly use maybe in informal conversations and texts. Perhaps is slightly formal than maybe and is preferred in formal contexts. This difference in formality can be described as the main difference between perhaps and maybe. In addition, maybe is mostly used at the beginning or the end of a sentence whereas perhaps can be used anywhere in a sentence.
Perhaps – Meaning and Usage
Perhaps is an adverb that expresses possibility or uncertainty. Perhaps is slightly formal than maybe. It can be used in both written and spoken language. This adverb can be used in front, mid and end positions of a sentence.
Perhaps he should have been honest with her.
As you perhaps remember, my father worked as the secretary of the foreign ministry for a few years.
Shall I examine her and perhaps get her some medicine for her cough?
Urbanization is a direct, perhaps inevitable result of industrialization.
Her latest movie is perhaps her best one.
There were 500, perhaps more, attendees in the auditorium.
Maybe – Meaning and Usage
Maybe is an adverb meaning possibly. It indicates possibility or uncertainty. Maybe is mostly used in spoken language or in informal texts. Maybe is mostly used at the beginning or end of a sentence.
A: Have you seen my purse? I can’t seem to find it anywhere.
B: Maybe you left them at home.
A: Are you going to Nadine’s wedding?
B: Hmmm… maybe.
Maybe I’ll stay there tonight.
Maybe I’ll finish my work early and come shopping with you.
Maybe can sometimes be used as a noun as well. As a noun maybe refers to a mere possibility or probability.
There are no ifs, buts, and maybes. You have to do this.
It is important to note that maybe is always written as one word.Some people tend to confuse the two words maybe and may be. Keep in mind that these two are entirely different words. May be is a modal verb and cannot be used interchangeably with maybe.
X He maybe handsome, but he has no common sense → He may be handsome, but he has no common sense.
X May be you are right. → Maybe you are right.
Difference Between Perhaps and Maybe
Perhaps is neutral and can be used in both formal and informal contexts.
Maybe is mainly used in informal contexts.
Part of Speech
Perhaps is an adverb.
Maybe is an adverb and a noun.
Position in a Sentence
Perhaps can be used in front, mid and end positions of a sentence.
Maybe is mostly used at the beginning or end of a sentence.