quizá(s), tal vez, a lo mejor

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suzzzenn

Senior Member
USA English
Hola a todos,

Earlier today some of my colleagues and I were working on a translation and had a question about a lo mejor and quizás. One person thought that a lo mejor expressed a stronger probability than quizás. The person who thought this grew up in the US in a bilingual home and has spent a lot of time in Mexico. Others in our group didn't have the same intuition, but they learned Spanish as adults and aren't fully bilingual. What do you think?

A lo mejor = very strong probability..a good translation is "likely"
Posiblamente = less strong probablity
quizás = less strong possibility
tal vez= weak possibility

Is the above correct or do quizá(s), tal vez, and a lo mejor carry the same strength?

Gracias de antemano,
Susan
 
  • HI!
    to me "a lo mejor" means Perhaps
    And quizás means maybe.

    I think when you are speaking spanish depends a lot where are you, in Mexico we say things differently that in Argentina or other countries.
    In Mexico i've heard quizás and "a lo mejor" used as i write above.
     

    mariposita

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Perhaps and maybe mean the same to me, as well. Perhaps (or maybe) they felt that "a lo mejor" was more probable because the verb goes in the indicative and not the subjunctive, as it does with "quiza/quizas" or "tal vez".
     

    Luciano

    New Member
    Argentina - Español
    I think the differences are in the way you use verbs.
    "Quizás" is used with our subjunctive verbal mode, which implies desire or some hypothetical thought.
    "A lo mejor" is used with our indicative verbal mode, and in this case you are suggesting that you actually plan to do something. Also, "A lo mejor" is a bit less formal than "Quizás".
    Suppose that tomorrow is Saturday and someone ask you what you are planning to do.
    If you answer: "Quizás vaya al cine." (Perhaps I go to the movies) you are meaning that it doesn't seem a particularly good idea.
    If you answer "A lo mejor voy al cine." (Maybe I go to the movies) you are saying that it sounds good.
    Hope it helps.
     

    Dandee

    Senior Member
    Argentina, español
    The three are the same thing, I can't see defferences between them.

    suzzzenn said:
    Hola a todos,

    Earlier today some of my colleagues and I were working on a translation and had a question about a lo mejor and quizás. One person thought that a lo mejor expressed a stronger probability than quizás. The person who thought this grew up in the US in a bilingual home and has spent a lot of time in Mexico. Others in our group didn't have the same intuition, but they learned Spanish as adults and aren't fully bilingual. What do you think?

    A lo mejor = very strong probability..a good translation is "likely"
    Posiblamente = less strong probablity
    quizás = less strong possibility
    tal vez= weak possibility

    Is the above correct or do quizá(s), tal vez, and a lo mejor carry the same strength?

    Gracias de antemano,
    Susan
     

    jess oh seven

    Senior Member
    UK/US English
    Luciano said:
    Suppose that tomorrow is Saturday and someone ask you what you are planning to do.
    If you answer: "Quizás vaya al cine." (Perhaps I'll go to the movies) you are meaning that it doesn't seem a particularly good idea.
    If you answer "A lo mejor voy al cine." (Maybe I'll go to the movies) you are saying that it sounds good.
    Hope it helps.
    creo que "a lo mejor" a veces significa "hopefully" también... como una mezcla entre "hopefully" and "probably"...? yo qué sé.
     

    jmx

    Senior Member
    Spain / Spanish
    jess oh seven said:
    creo que "a lo mejor" a veces significa "hopefully" también... como una mezcla entre "hopefully" and "probably"...? yo qué sé.
    I think the original meaning must have been that, something like 'hopefully', but nowadays you can hear things like "a lo mejor han tenido un accidente", so in my opinion it's not worth it to try to find subtle differences between "a lo mejor", "tal vez", "quizá/quizás" o "puede (que)". They mean the same.
     

    ildure

    Member
    Castellano/Català (Spanish/Catalan) - Catalunya (Spain)
    Posiblemente (more probability)
    A lo mejor - Quizás - tal vez (for me are the same, but i think i may use one or another depending the context).
     

    Jazztronik

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Spain
    yes, I also think "a lo mejor", "quizás/quizá", and "tal vez" mean the same, or almost. "a lo mejor" sounds more colloquial than the rest, but "tal vez" is what I would use myself most of the times. "Quizás/quizá" are commonly used colloquially too, but it sounds quite a literary word as well.

    "Probablemente", "posiblemente" denote more probability.

    And on a third degree of probability, you can say "seguramente".
     

    pepita78

    Senior Member
    Chile
    to me a lo mejor and quizà(s) have the same meaning: maybe( or perhaps).
    but a lo mejor can be traslated also as probably, while quizà(s) can not.
    It depens on the context!

    ^_^
     

    Rayines

    Senior Member
    Castellano/Argentina
    Since this thread has been revived, I want to say that we generally give the same meaning to "quizás", "tal vez" and "a lo mejor". "Capaz que" is only coloquial, (the RAE says in Arg. and Urug.). My own preferences in frequence of use are:
    1rst.a lo mejor
    2nd.quizá/s
    3rth. tal vez.
    Very rarely, capaz que. :)
     

    Safar

    Member
    English-U.S.
    Solamente quise añadir que para mí la diferencia entre "perhaps" y "maybe" es a veces una diferencia de registro lingüístico: "perhaps" en ciertos contextos es de alto registro, más formal que "maybe," pero depende del contexto, y quizá incluso de la edad del hablante, o de qué región de E.E.U.U. es. Yo misma uso "perhaps" en los contextos más formales, como en una lectura universitaria por ejemplo.
     

    Alessio.AguirrePimentel

    New Member
    spanish - argentina
    to me a lo mejor and quizà(s) have the same meaning: maybe( or perhaps).
    but a lo mejor can be traslated also as probably, while quizà(s) can not.
    It depens on the context!

    ^_^
    "people" use some of these phrases interchangeably, but they are not.

    "quizá" comes from "qui sapi", which means "who knows". "Quizá Pepe es Argentino" = "Maybe Pepe is Argentinean".
    "A lo mejor" = "In the best of cases". "A lo mejor Pepe es Argentino". It can only be used when the proposition is the best of outcomes, you cannot say "A lo mejor tu perro está muerto"
    "Capaz" = "Capable". This is a deformation of the language, people got gonfuse "Pepe es capaz de romper el vaso" became "Capaz que Pepe rompió el vaso"; but we should avoid this.


    Hope it helps and sorry about the bad writing, I am in a rush.
     

    duvija

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Uruguay
    OK, all of them are the same to me. (I could even say 'a lo mejor se te murió el perro', without even thinking about 'mejor').
    Don't forget to add 'de repente', with the exact same meaning as the other ones. Register? of course, perhaps is higher, de repente is lower. Same with all the others, but considering that register changes with the speaker, you don't go too far in that one.
     

    inib

    Senior Member
    British English
    Duvija, are you saying that "de repente" is used in some places with the meaning of perhaps/maybe instead of suddenly? If so, which places? No contestes a esto, Duvija, acabo de encontrar la respuesta http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=59393
    Around here "igual" is another common and colloquial way of expressing the same idea.
    Igual vamos a la playa este fin de semana.
     
    Last edited:

    Alessio.AguirrePimentel

    New Member
    spanish - argentina
    OK, all of them are the same to me. (I could even say 'a lo mejor se te murió el perro', without even thinking about 'mejor').
    Don't forget to add 'de repente', with the exact same meaning as the other ones. Register? of course, perhaps is higher, de repente is lower. Same with all the others, but considering that register changes with the speaker, you don't go too far in that one.
    "De repente" = "all of a sudden". Is another deformation of the language; it comes from "De repente vino Pepe"; which is what you could tell a friend at a paty if Pepe showed up an was not expected. So you can say "all of a sudden Pepe showed up". But you cannot (or should not) say "De repente viene Pepe"; which would be "all of a sudden Pepe may come".

    Anocher deformation is "por ahí". Instead of "Quizá viene Pepe" some Argentineans say "Por ahí viene Pepe" o "Por ahí me gano la lotería", which should lead one to say: "¿por ahí por donde?"

    Saludos,

    Alessio
     
    Last edited:

    duvija

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Uruguay
    Duvija, are you saying that "de repente" is used in some places with the meaning of perhaps/maybe instead of suddenly? If so, which places? No contestes a esto, Duvija, acabo de encontrar la respuesta http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=59393
    Around here "igual" is another common and colloquial way of expressing the same idea.
    Igual vamos a la playa este fin de semana.

    Good! you found the old thread! For us, it's not 'suddenly', just 'maybe, perhaps, igual...). Of course, we can use it also as 'suddenly' but usually, life is easier...:)
     
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