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Can I say

Perhaps the most natural option is to...

instead of

The most natural option is probably to...

Do these two sentences have the same meaning? Generally speaking, should I prefer one above the other?

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closed as general reference by Kris, mplungjan, MετάEd, Mitch, Carlo_R. Apr 24 '13 at 21:12

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

The first tells me you are unsure of the natural option, the second tells me that based on your experience the natural option is... However the first example comes over wrong in more ways, since most and natural do not go well with perhaps in my vocabulary. It sounds like "It is approximately 21.512 degrees" – mplungjan Apr 24 '13 at 8:22
@mplungjan: Thanks, it helps! – Marco Apr 24 '13 at 9:15
Why the down vote? Dictionary definitions do not always clear up the confusion in a particular context. – Tanmoy Apr 24 '13 at 12:20
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Marco, "perhaps" and "probably" are two different words. "Perhaps" means "possibly," not "probably." If you are uncertain of the meaning of such a simple, common word, you should look it up in a dictionary. That's what dictionaries are for. And I strongly recommend you check out the English Language Learners StackExchange site.

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You are rough on me. The difference between "perhaps" and "possibly" is clear to me. However, in this particular context, I suspected a possible different meaning. Anyway, thanks for your answer, and for pointing me out the site. – Marco Apr 24 '13 at 5:46
Marco, really, I promise I'm not trying to be hard on you at all. I was trying to be as gentle as possible, actually. Many people would have been very angry that you even asked the question. It is a question that shows two things: Your command of English is rudimentary, and your willingness to use basic tools to learn the language is a little suspect. People who use this site are expected to do a little research to find the answer on their own before they ask the community. This answer would have been VERY easy to find. But the good thing is, you WANT to learn!! Keep it up!! – John M. Landsberg Apr 24 '13 at 6:12
I did try to find the answer by myself... but there are many examples with "Perhaps the most" which confused me. Anyway, let's close this post here. – Marco Apr 24 '13 at 6:22
Marco, your name seems Italian; your English seems Italian, too. So, perhaps, you might be interested in Italian Language & Usage. Please, see on Area51 Stackexchange and commit the proposal. Thank you. – user19148 Apr 24 '13 at 21:16
I would be happy to stop this discussion, as you request, but I'm happier to continue to try to help you understand, and I see one more point that's confusing you. You say "Perhaps the most" is confusing to you. So, quite simply, I need to tell you that there is no necessary connection between these words. This is not a defined phrase. These words are not a fixed group of any kind. There is no reason for confusion here. Being confused by this would be like saying, "I'm confused by 'perhaps my brother' in the sentence 'perhaps my brother is at home'." – John M. Landsberg Apr 25 '13 at 7:05

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