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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle High German vil līchte (very easily), thus: “what could easily happen”. Compare the same in German Low German villicht, Dutch wellicht, Saterland Frisian fielicht.


  • (standard) IPA(key): /fiˈlaɪ̯çt/, [fiˈlaɪ̯çt], [fɪ-]
  • (common speech) IPA(key): /flaɪ̯ç(t)/
  • (Switzerland) IPA(key): /fɪˈlɪxt/, /flɪx(t)/ (the latter in fast speech)
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪ̯çt



  1. perhaps, maybe
    Vielleicht hat er einen Unfall gehabt.
    Maybe he’s had an accident.
  2. frequently replaces bitte (please) in polite questions
    Könnten Sie vielleicht das Fenster aufmachen?
    Could you perhaps open the window?
  3. (colloquial) expresses amazement or excitement, particularly at something negative
    Das is’ vielleicht ’ne Geldverschwendung da!
    Now, that’s some waste of money!

Usage notes[edit]

  • The use of vielleicht in a polite question is often preferable because it invites the person asked to disagree, whereas bitte may sound insisting. This depends a lot on context and intonation, however.


Further reading[edit]