These two words are used for saying that you are not certain about something, or that something may or may not be true.
is more formal and is used in writing while maybe
is used more in spoken English
e.g. I wondered if perhaps he had changed his mind about attending the party.
e.g. ‘When can you give me an answer?’ ‘I don’t know. Maybe tomorrow.’
These two words can confuse even native speakers. Probably
is used for saying that something is likely to be true, and possibly
that it may be true but you are not certain.
e.g. If house prices are low, it’s probably because there is a lack of demand.
e.g. ‘Would you consider moving to another country for your work?’ ‘Possibly, I’m not sure.’
It is used when what you are saying is based on what you have heard, not on what you know is true and therefore fact.
e.g. Apparently, she resigned because she had an argument with her boss.
e.g. There is, apparently
, going to be an announcement about the new CEO tomorrow.
4. As far as I know/ as far as I am aware
These two expressions are used when you have partial (incomplete) knowledge of an issue or fact.
e.g. No one has complained, as far as I know.
e.g. As far as I am aware, the invitations to the party have all been sent.
5. To the best of my knowledge
This phrase is used for saying that you think something is true, but you are not completely certain. This is quite a formal expression.
e.g. To the best of my knowledge, no similar book has been published.
6. Not to my knowledge
This is used for saying that you think something is not true, although you are not completely certain.
e.g. ‘Has the report been sent yet?’ ‘Not to my knowledge.’
7. I imagine/suppose/guess
These are used when you think something is probably true, but you can’t be sure. “Guess” is more frequently used in American English, although you can hear it in British English, too. “Suppose” is more characteristic of British English and is often used in the negative.
e.g. I imagine they’ve already left for the airport.
e.g. I suppose she must be delighted about getting the job.
e.g. I don’t suppose you’d consider staying for another week?
e.g. I guess he will want to meet all the team members before the conference.