I encountered the phrase "Except, maybe not" when reading an on-line article. I guess it would probably mean "It (what mentioned earlier) may not be right, and there are some exceptions". Is my understanding correct? Is the phrase common?

Below is the original sentence.

"The consensus has been that when you get older, your arteries will clog with plaque, and your odds of having a heart attack or stroke increase. Except, maybe not."


1 Answer 1


It only really makes sense if you look at the paragraph that immediately follows for context:

According to a new study published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, it’s possible to have the arteries of a healthy 20-year-old into your 70s.

So, in brief, what it says is this:

People say that your odds of a heart attack increases as you get older, because your arteries deteroriate. But, maybe that's not always true. It's possible to get older and still have young and healthy arteries.

The rest of the article no doubt goes on to say what you can do to keep your arteries healthy.

  • Thanks Jason for your quick comment. I didn't have this question if the phrase was simply "Maybe not" instead of "Except, maybe not." So, the "except" in this case is a kind of an emphasis?
    – Takashi
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 6:56
  • @Takashi It's not an emphasis—if you removed it entirely, maybe not on its own wouldn't make sense. In this case it means but, however, although, on the other hand, or then again. Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 7:33

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