How to Use Perchance Correctly

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Using old-fashioned words is one way to spice up your creative writing. I do it all the time as a Fantasy author! Perchance you can try the word perchance, a word that means perhaps.

Discover the complete definition of perchance and its origin by reading this article. I’ll show you how to use this adverb in a sentence, as well.

Perchance Definition

Perchance Ngram
Trend of the word Perchance through the years.

Perchance is an adverb that means by chance, perhaps, or maybe. This word is not commonly used in casual speech or writing. But you’ll find it in classic pieces of writing and other literature.

What Kind of Word is Perchance?

Perchance may be an old-fashioned word, but it is also an adverb of probability like perhaps, definitely, obviously, and maybe. Adverbs are parts of speech that describes a verb, adjective, or a fellow adverb.

Adverbs of probability are a type of adverb that demonstrates how sure one is about an event or situation.

Where Does Perchance Come From?

Perchance derives from the Old French phrase par cheance, which translates into by chance. Let’s break down the word to understand where it comes from.

Per is an English preposition that originates from the French word par, meaning through or by means of. As a prefix, it means forward or toward.

Chance refers to something that takes place or an occurrence. It comes from the Old French word cheance, meaning accident, fortune, luck, or the falling of dice.

The word perchance was formed as language evolved. People use this word when uncertain about something…or when they want to sound flowery.

“To sleep, perchance to dream” is a famous line in Hamlet’s To be or Not to Be Soliloquy. It shows Hamlet’s views on death, thinking that the sleep of death includes dreams.

So, when you say, “Perchance we will see each other again,” it means you’re unsure if you will see each other again. But I recommend only saying this if you’re a character from one of Shakespeare’s plays.

How Do You Use Perchance in a Sentence?

Here are some examples of perchance in a sentence.

  • Perchance you could give me details about Sandro’s whereabouts so I can track him.
  • If, perchance, you’re wondering how to achieve this painting technique, enroll in my free online course.
  • Or perchance we should order a huge wall shelf instead of a standing one.
  • She goes out every night perchance to see her friends.
  • Perchance it’s a good idea to stop snooping through other people’s files.
  • “To gain more information on the global mRNA expression profile of the osteoblast-like cells and perchance recognize the pathways which are activated by platelet lysate during osteogenic transdifferentiation, RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) was performed on healthy primary fibroblast cells…” [Nature]

Synonyms for Perchance

  • By chance
  • By any chance
  • Per chance
  • As it may be

Final Word on Perchance

Congratulations! Another word has been added to your vocabulary. I hope this article has taught you the definition and origin of perchance and how to use it in a sentence.

Remember that perchance is an old-fashioned way to say perhaps. Use it in your next poem, short story, and other creative pieces.