Both "maybe" and "possibly" can be used to express something might happen. I am wondering which word has the higher chance?

  • 2
    They are the same basically, it would depend on how it's spoken (inflection). Probably would be a higher chance than both of those.
    – Peter
    Jan 24, 2016 at 13:20

3 Answers 3


Neither one has a higher chance. See possibly and maybe, and also perhaps. Also in Oxford (maybe).

Will you go to the new movie Friday?


Possibly seems a bit more formal.

Also while you can say

I'll possibly go


I'll perhaps go

is a bit weird, while

I'll maybe go

sounds really informal, if not uncouth.


'Possible' contrasts with impossible: the focus is on reality and is there some conflict with reality.

'Maybe' places an answer between 'yes' and 'no' but does not specify where.

Because the two cannot be compared, there is no way to rank them on a mathematical scale of probability.

  • Saying that something "may be" (the origin of "maybe") literally just means that there is a chance of it. In other words, the same thing as "possible". Dec 31, 2016 at 21:01

There is no difference between the two.

However there is a very fine difference between Maybe and Possibily.

Maybe is used in informal context i.e When having a conversation with friends and family. Most people mistakenly use it with formal context which is absolutely wrong.

Possibly is used in formal context. It is best to use Possibly in your conversation as it provides a good structure,a polite request as in Could you possibly help me in my work? and also has the ability to describe the intensity/meaning of the situation.

Quite Possibly/Very Possibly expressions are used to indicate a greater possibility of something happening.

So it's better to stick with Possibly to give a better structure to your sentence.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .