[vocabulary] 혹시 and 아마 : maybe

Many Korean learner are confused by 아마 and 혹시.
아마‘ means ‘maybe, probably, likely, perhaps’, 혹시 means ‘I wonder, by any chance, might’.
아마‘ is usually used in statement sentences, and ‘혹시‘ is used in statement and question sentences.

When 혹시 is used in a question sentence, it means ‘I wonder’, which expresses ‘I am not sure you know my answer’ or ‘I am going to ask something, so please be prepare’.  So if you used this in a question, it feels a little more polite.

For example, 
혹시 선생님 전화 번호 알아요?      (I wonder) Do you know teacher’s phone number?
혹시 전화 좀 빌려 줄 수 있으세요?   (I wonder) Can you lend me your phone?
혹시 여기에 어떻게 가는지 아세요?   (I wonder)  Do you know how to get this place?
혹시 물 좀 줄 수 있어요?   (I wonder) Can you give me some water?

If 혹시 is used in a statement sentence, it means ‘if’.  In this case, it is used with -(으)면 or –거든.

For example, 
혹시 선생님 전화 번호를 알면 알려 주세요. If you know teacher’s phone number, please let me know.
혹시 돈이 있으면 좀 빌려 주세요. If you have some money, please lend me some.
혹시 일찍 오시거든 전화해 주세요.  If you come early, please call me.
혹시 다른 일이 있으면 다음에 만나도 돼요. If you have another thing to do, we can meet next time.

If you want to learn more about -으면, please click here.

If you want to learn more about -거든, please click here.

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