English Vocabulary

maybe and perhaps

When I finished school and english lessons, I stopped to use the word "perhaps" and replaced it with "maybe", because I NEVER heard people using "perhaps" so I assumed that it was old fashioned, or just used by teachers ;)
But I saw in the gymglish lessons that this word is still used.

Could somebody explain to me the difference between the two words, if it's not of sense, is it a difference of level of language ? (I mean familiar, or elegant language...)
Thanks a lot.


  • Hi Pimpanella,

    There's really not much difference between the terms, although I would say that "perhaps" is of higher register and that "maybe" is more widely used in everyday speech, which would explain why you got the impression that "perhaps" is old-fashioned. It is still used occasionally in speech, though, and much more in writing.

  • Hi, Sammy
    Thank you for your accurate answer, I'm happy to close this question wich was itching me for years ;) Now I will continue to say maybe, but sometimes I will write perhaps!
    Nice to meet helpfull people...

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