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RAE redirects the definition of quizás to quizá but I wonder if there's any implicit, secret rule that I am not aware of as to whether quizás is preferred over quizá.

I've seen both forms used almost indistinctively even on the same text.

What's your take on this? Would you use both words in the same text? Do you have a rule to chose one or the other depending on the word succeeding it, for example?

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+1 as I did not even realize that there were two different words >.< – Kage Mar 8 '12 at 20:12
up vote 12 down vote accepted

They are exactly the same, as the Diccionario panhispánico de dudas says here:

quizá. Adverbio que expresa duda o probabilidad: «Neruda es un gran poeta. Quizá el más grande de todos los poetas» (Skármeta Cartero [Chile 1986]). Por analogía con otros adverbios acabados en -s, se creó la forma quizás, igualmente válida: «Quizás Casiana tenga razón» (Parrado 1905 [Cuba 1984]).

So the original one was "quizá" but "quizás" was created because other adverbs also ended in "s".

I use both forms (I'm not sure if I tend to use one more than the other). But the Ngram Viewer of Google says that "quizá" is more used though in the past the difference was much bigger than nowadays.

enter image description here

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Javi, thanks for the graph, very interesting stuff. So the form quizás exists even before the 1800's, huh? Google es definitivamente una maravilla :) – Icarus Mar 8 '12 at 16:06
La verdad es que quizá me suena medio raro, siempre uso quizás :) Quizás, quizás, quizás – César Mar 9 '12 at 15:03
+1 for the reference to the Ngram Viewer. Amazing. – McArthey Jul 13 '12 at 14:07

I don't think there's any difference. Or at least I'm not aware of it. As you say, they are used indistinctively. The DPD also says they are equivalent.

I tend to use quizá, buy it's just a matter of preference.

Maybe, if the following word starts with an "s" I would avoid using quizás, so it's easier to pronounce, but there's no explicit or implicit rule about it.

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Both, but the original word (if any word can be original) is "quizá".

It comes from latín "qui sapit" (Who knows?)

The first documentation of the word appears on the famous work "Cantares del Mio Cid":

"Allá dentro en Marruecos,
ó las mezquitas son, que abrán de mí salto

quiçab alguna noch,
ellos lo temen, ca non lo pienso yo;"

(At least that says on my ethimologic latin dictionary)

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Excellent answer, Leandro. Thank you! – Icarus Jun 3 '12 at 11:35

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