08-23-11, 08:46 PM #1
Help with English: "Maybe, perhaps, possibly, probably"
Maybe, perhaps, possibly, probably
Do they mean the same thing and can be interchaged?
1. Maybe it is going to rain.
2. Perhaps it will rain in one hour time because the sky is dark.
3. It is possibly to rain today because of the dark cloud in the sky.
4. Probably it will rain very soon because humidity is high.
08-23-11, 09:03 PM #2
08-23-11, 09:13 PM #3
You have explained those words exactly. Thanks. I have learned and can distinct all of them now.
08-24-11, 03:24 PM #4
1. Maybe it is going to rain.
And then, of course, if you are trying to be formal, you should use the more formal construction "will rain," instead of the informal phrase "is going to rain."
So choose: "Maybe it's going to rain," or "Possibly it will rain."2. Perhaps it will rain in one hour time because the sky is dark.3. It is possibly to rain today because of the dark cloud in the sky.
Also, "cloud" should almost certainly be plural, "clouds." If I see only one dark cloud in the sky, that is not enough evidence to predict rain, unless it is so big that it fills the entire sky.4. Probably it will rain very soon because humidity is high.
Putting "probably" first is not exactly wrong, but it's awkward. We would say "It will probably rain . . . ." It would be okay to put "maybe" first: "Maybe it will rain. . . ." This is another one of those cases where there is no rule to explain the difference, you just have to mimic the way we speak.
If you want to stress the fact that you think it is almost certain that it will rain, then you could put "probably" first, but since you would stress the word in speech (say it loudly), you should stress it in writing by putting in a comma: "Probably, it will rain very soon. . . ."
08-24-11, 09:48 PM #5
08-24-11, 09:54 PM #6
So my correction:
1. Based on the wind blow and cloudy condition, maybe it will rain afterwards.
2. Perhaps it will rain in one hour's time because the sky is very dark now.
3. Possibly it will rain today because of the dark clouds hovering in the sky.
4. Probably it will rain very soon because the measured humidity is very high at this moment.
08-25-11, 12:31 AM #7
2 take off the now at the end of the phrase
3 is o.k. for a weirdos. The "hovering" was over the top. The usage of Possibly is fine
4 probably just don't sound right to Me . Can't tell you why . The word Perhaps instead of Probably . O.K. I got it . You would transpose the it and Probably . So 4 would say . It Probably will rain . Now your starting to talk Bastard American Saint
So all the usage was right except number 4 and the transposed " It and Probably
08-25-11, 01:49 PM #8
maybe does not = may be.1. Based on the wind blow and cloudy condition, maybe it will rain afterwards.
- "Be" is a verb and "may/might" are two inflections of an auxiliary verb. So you can say, "He may be here," or "He might be here," and that is a complete sentence.
- "Maybe" is an adverb. Every complete sentence must have a verb. (We don't always speak and write in complete sentences, but that's a topic for another time.) So if a sentence contains the adverb "maybe," it must still have a verb which the adverb modifies."He maybe here" is not a correct sentence. "Maybe he has already arrived," or even "Maybe he is here" is a correct sentence. "He maybe here," is not.
- "On" is a preposition, so its object has to be a phrase that is not a complete clause, which means it can't contain a verb. A gerund would be okay: "Based on the wind blowing..." But you can just as easily say, "Based on the wind..."
- When we talk about the weather we always talk about "conditions," in the plural, not "condition."
- "Afterwards" is wrong here. You can say "later," or you can just eliminate the word entirely since we know what you mean.
But even though that is grammatically correct, it is still awkward.
2. Perhaps it will rain in one hour's time because the sky is very dark now.3. Possibly it will rain today because of the dark clouds hovering in the sky.
- Based upon the wind and the clouds, I think it will rain later.
- The wind and the clouds probably mean that it will rain.
For another, "because" makes it sound like the dark clouds will be the cause of the rain. Perhaps they are, and if you're a meteorologist I suppose you could put it that way. But I think what you really want to say is, "I think it will rain today because there are dark clouds in the sky." The clouds are the reason you think it's going to rain.
And yes, I agree that "hovering" is an unusual word to use with clouds. It's not wrong, but it will certainly let everyone know that English is not your native language. You can just say "dark clouds in the sky."
I think it will rain today because I saw dark clouds in the sky.4. Probably it will rain very soon because the measured humidity is very high at this moment.
It will probably rain very soon because the relative humidity is very high.
I can see that you're influenced by Chinese syntax. You feel compelled to add words indicating time, since Chinese verbs do not have tenses. In English we don't need time words because our verbs include the information that the event took place in the past, takes place in the present, or will take place in the future.
- The relative humidity was high.
- The relative humidity is high.
- The relative humidity will be high.
Last edited by Fraggle Rocker; 08-25-11 at 01:56 PM.
08-25-11, 09:10 PM #9
why English is so subtle and difficult to learn?
In Mandarin, it is very simple to express what we want to say.
08-26-11, 12:01 AM #10
How to use comma in a long sentence?
1. He came to my house to return my books and did revision of history (together) with me for an hour and watched a video with me for another one and half hours. [with & together with are similar?]
Or can I write,
2. He came to my house to return my books, spent an hour to do revision of history with me and after that watched a video with me for another one and half hours. Is it better to use comma in the sentence?
08-26-11, 12:50 AM #11
The only reason I use it is because it is the only one I kind of got a grip on , or I would probably use another language all together . Like instinctual animal magnetism of the beast. Take off your close woman , lets get naked kind of language , but with my eyes instead of with Me mouth . Well I might use my mouth too , but not for talking . Grunts and groans work good when you use that language . Maybe that one is universal
08-26-11, 02:28 AM #12
08-26-11, 02:30 AM #13
I am also confused about:
Many types of fruits
Many types of fruit.
There are many kinds of cell phones to choose.
There are many kinds of cell phone to choose.
08-26-11, 02:31 AM #14
I help him to do his homework.
I help him doing his home work.
I help him do his homework.
08-26-11, 10:59 AM #15
Why is English so subtle, and difficult to learn?
In a question, the subject comes after the verb, not in front of it. In most questions we use an auxiliary verb: "Why did you say that?" Not "Why said you that?"
But if the verb is "to be," then we use it by itself. "How is he?" "Why are you happy?" "Where am I?" "Who was she?" "Were we early?"In Mandarin, it is very simple to express what we want to say.A list of the students' name. -- or -- A list of the students' names.Originally Posted by SaintMany types of fruits -- OR -- Many types of fruit.
I think most Americans would say, "many types of fruit," but I would not swear to that without taking a poll first.Originally Posted by SaintI help him doing his home work.
You could say "I help him in doing his homework, but that is too complicated. You could make it a more formal expression by saying "I assist him in doing his homework."I help him do his homework.
08-26-11, 11:11 AM #16
One more thing:
might < may < could < can
to express the degrees of possibility.
"Might" is less posible than "may;" "could" is more possible than "may," but less than "can."
"I might go to the library tomorrow" mand that I am less certain than if I say "I may (could or can) go to the library tomorrow."
08-26-11, 11:11 AM #17
08-28-11, 08:23 PM #18
Alone and Only.
1. Studying hard alone will not guarantee you good results.
2. Good results are not guaranteed by hard work only.
Which expression is better?
Does alone and only always mean the same?
08-29-11, 11:55 AM #19
You forgot to include "just": it has a similar meaning to "only" and "alone."
While all three words have similar meanings, they are not really synonyms since their meanings are not absolutely identical. When used in a phrase about a person, "alone" usually means that the person is literally alone, not in anyone's company. This is why I thought your sentence refers to you being alone while you study.2. Good results are not guaranteed by hard work only.Does alone and only always mean the same?
But to answer the question, No! They often mean the same thing, but not always.
If you don't have a good English dictionary, just refer to Dictionary.com . It aggregates definitions from several different dictionaries, and it also includes notes on proper usage, as well as etymologies.
08-29-11, 12:09 PM #20
my first sentence actually means "Just studying hard will not guarantee...", I was ambiguous .
By science man in forum LinguisticsLast Post: 10-02-13, 02:38 PMReplies: 43
By gendanken in forum LinguisticsLast Post: 08-09-11, 05:18 PMReplies: 114
By jmpet in forum Religion ArchivesLast Post: 01-20-11, 12:24 PMReplies: 49
By S.A.M. in forum PoliticsLast Post: 01-13-11, 02:50 PMReplies: 31
By mikenostic in forum Ethics, Morality, & JusticeLast Post: 04-14-08, 07:22 AMReplies: 88