Expressing "perhaps" with 也许 and 或许
The adverb indicates a conclusion based on someone’s opinion or feeling. It should be placed at the beginning of a sentence or before a predicate.
Pay attention
It is used more often in colloquial speech than in written language.
He is probably planning to leave her
tā yěxǔ dǎsuan líkāi tā
I’m probably not smart enough
yěxǔ wǒ bú gòu cōngmíng
也许 is often used with the particle , which expresses a guess.
I don't know, maybe
bù zhīdào, yěxǔ ba
In a negative sentence, we should put the negative particle after the adverb 也许 and before the verb.
She probably doesn't want to come
tā yěxǔ bù xiǎng lái
We also can use 也许 separately as a response to a remark.
难道我真的没有出息?—— 也许
Is there really nothing I can do? — Probably not
nándào wǒ zhēnde méi yǒu chūxi — yěxǔ
The adverb 或许
The adverb is very similar to 也许. It may be stated either before or after the subject.
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We mostly use the adverb 或许 in written language.
They probably got stuck in traffic and will be late by a few minutes
tāmen huòxǔ shì lùshang dǔchē le, chídào jǐ fēnzhōng
Maybe we will hear new information tomorrow
míngtiān huòxǔ jiù huì tīngdào xīn xìnxī le
Perhaps he has become smarter with age
huòxǔ tā yǐjīng suízhe niánlíng de zēngzhǎng biàn de gèng ruìzhì le
Pay attention
We do not use 或许 separately as a response to a remark.
Pay attention
We can also express the implication “maybe” with modal verbs ↓
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