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Plain Form + かも知れない as “(may/might/possibly) be _”

Plain Form + かも知れない as “(may/might/possibly) be _”

The plain form of a verb, adjective or noun is used with the expression かも知れない to associate it with a degree of likeliness. In English, this would translate to “(may/might/possibly) be (ADJECTIVE/NOUN)” or “(may/might/possibly) VERB.”

The Japanese structure of this grammar pattern consists of:
Plain Form of a verb, adjective, or noun +
the particle か to denote a question +
the particle も to mean “also” + 知れない, which is the Negative-Potential-Form of the verb 知る, to know

This literally translate to “It can’t be known if ____ also,” which becomes the more natural “it might be ____”.

*As is usually the case, the Negative-Polite Form of 知る, 知れません, can be used in lieu of 知れない.


Ashita, kouen ni iku kamoshiremasen.
(I might go to the park tomorrow.)

Kare wa mou kono eiga o mita kamoshirenai.
(He might have already seen this movie.)

Kono eiga wa sugoku omoshiroi kamoshirenai.
(This movie might just be really interesting.)

Sono shiken wa kantan kamoshirenai.
(That test might be simple.)

Sono shiken wa kantanjyanakatta kamoshirenai.
(That test might not have been simple.)

Ano kata wa sensei kamoshiremasen.
(That person might be a teacher.)