comma after 'perhaps' [adverb, front position]: Perhaps, he is angry.


Senior Member

I understand that a comma isn't necessary after 'perhaps', but is it okay to add it for the sake of pause?

Perhaps, he is angry. (comma after perhaps)
Perhaps he is angry. (no comma after perhaps)

Are both forms okay?

  • I don't think that it indicates a pause here, but I do think it adds confusion. Is it intended as part of a dialogue? Is there more context available?
    The first version, with the comma, doesn't sound natural at all, I'm afraid. Reading it aloud, I can't imagine a situation where you'd actually want to pause after 'perhaps'.

    Cross-posted. yes, some more context would help . . .
    Brother: Do you think Dad will really cut us out of his will?
    Sister: Perhaps, he is angry. (And even that might be better as "Perhaps ... he is angry."

    But just because I can imagine a use for it doesn't mean much -- in nearly all cases you wouldn't use a comma.
    Thanks, guys. What about maybe instead of perhaps? Comma or no comma - which would be appropriate?
    It is a general doubt I have on introductory words. Hence, you do this. Therefore, they do that. So I am wondering whether maybe/perhaps works in the same way, especially when faced with alternatives:
    Maybe, he is clever. Maybe, he is not. I don't know.
    Perhaps, he will do what I say. Perhaps, he won't. I can't be sure.