Hello buddies

Well, I don't understand what's the difference between 'Perhaps' and 'Maybe', here are the meanings from my Collins Dictionary:


You use 'Perhaps' when you are not sure whether something is true or possible.

EG. It will cost hundreds, perhaps thousands, to repair.
EG. Perhaps, in time, she'll understand.


You use 'maybe' to express uncertainty, for example when you do not know that something is definitely true.

EG. I met him once, maybe twice.
EG. Maybe I should lie about my age.
EG. "Will Gerard will be here?"
"Maybe not"

I don't see what are the differences between them, because I must use them when I'm not sure about something happens or will happen.

Am I right with these examples? (from myself)

John is not a engineer, maybe a technician.
Perhaps, but I'm not sure about that.
Perhaps, I may have a car.

Why sometimes people use 'Perhaps' and not 'Maybe'??

Sorry about my English, and thanks in advance!
"Maybe" is more conversational and less likely to be used in formal writing, but other than that the two words are very often interchangeable -- as they are in all your dictionary examples. There might be some expressions in which only one of "maybe" or "perhaps" is idiomatic, but none immediately come to mind.

John is not a engineer, maybe a technician.

This is not very good English. You could say John is not a engineer; maybe/perhaps he's a technician. or John is not a engineer; he may be a technician. In ordinary conversation John is not a engineer ... maybe a technician. is a kind of shorthand, but I wouldn't punctuate it with a comma.

Perhaps/maybe, but I'm not sure about that.


Perhaps, I may have a car.

I'd punctuate this as Perhaps I may have a car (unless you actually mean Perhaps. I may have a car.). Strictly you don't need both "perhaps" and "may", but in ordinary conversation it's the kind of thing one would say. Actually, to answer my own question, when the sentence (redundantly) also includes the word "may", it would sound odd to use "maybe". For example, Maybe I may have a car is strange (while Maybe I'll have a car is fine).

Somebody says there's no difference at all in meaning; only the register (= degree of formality) would be different.
You might read this page from the BBC or listen to an mp3 (there's a link at the very bottom of the page).

Emotion: smile
 Mr Wordy's reply was promoted to an answer.