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Is Earth maybe circular?

If I answer this question with ‘No, it isn’t,’ technically, does it mean Earth is not maybe circular? Therefore, the answer can mean Earth is certainly circular.

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    First, "Earth is maybe circular" is not a question, so your question here isn't really valid. Second, circles are flat, so even many Flat Earthers would agree with "Earth is maybe circular," the predominant theory of Flat Earthers being that Earth is disk-shaped, disks being circular, as opposed to spherical. With those two things in mind, how you'd phrase any disagreement is entirely up to you, but if starting with "No," you should clarify what you mean by it, especially if it could be inferred as you agreeing Earth is maybe something you don't actually agree it is. Jun 10 at 2:10
  • @Benjamin Harman My mistake :)
    – user138121
    Jun 10 at 2:13
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Here we have several misconceptions. But first and foremost, as mentioned in comments, the sentence structure of the question is incorrect.

Is Earth maybe circular? this should be re-structured as

Maybe earth is circular?

In your original sentence it is not clear what the subject is, The stuff in which plants can grow, an electrical connection or a foxes home. However I will make the assumption your talking about our home planet "The Earth".

Maybe The Earth is circular?

Having cleared that issue out of the way. Let us now direct our attention to the answer. The question is debateable, because "maybe" is used to show that something is possible or that something might be true. Which in turn makes the meaning of the question something more like this.

Is it possible The Earth is circular, can it be true?

Which leaves us thinking that the question is either rhetorical (requiring no answer) or it requires an explanation; it most certainly cannot be a yes or no answer.

Even with a less controversial subject the use of maybe often dictates a somewhat vague reply.

Maybe the sun will shine

Maybe.

which precludes the certainty sort in your assertion "the answer can mean Earth is certainly circular".


When the Earth is spoken of as a physical body, occupying space-time, it's normally preceded by the article, and often capitalised. As are Sun and Moon,

When Earth is used more "metaphorically" to mean our whole environment (really, just the thin skin of biosphere on the surface of the planetary body, where nearly all things that concern us take place) it's more normal to omit the article, and I wouldn't normally capitalise either.

Ref Stack Exchange ENGLISH LANGUAGE & USAGE


maybe; adverb; Ref C.E.D.

used to show that something is possible or that something might be true:

used to avoid giving a clear or certain answer to a question:

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