かも知れない

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Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term

Grade: 2
kun’yomi

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

This is a compound phrase of the interrogative particle (used to form questions, also used as a coordinating particle similar to English whether), the inclusive particle (mo, even, also) plus the negative potential non-past form 知れない (shirenai, literally cannot be known) of the verb 知る (しる, to know something), all together literally meaning “it can't even be known whether [preceding statement]”.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Particle[edit]

かも知れない (hiragana かもしれない, rōmaji ka mo shirenai)

  1. may, might, perhaps
    雨降 (あめふ)るかもしれない。
    Ame furu ka mo shirenai.
    It cannot even be known whether it will rain. → It might rain.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN