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kamo shirenai
Meaning: it's possible that.., perhaps
JLPT Level: 3

kare wa sugu nihon ni iku kamoshiremasen.
he-(topic particle)-soon-Japan-to-go-perhaps
It's possible he will go to Japan soon.


Something that one cannot be sure of, but is a possibility. X may be true.

かもしれません kamo shiremasen

See also だろう

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Thank you for the help. You

Thank you for the help.
You have written about particle か making it 'uncertain'.I was unaware that か is used as particle also.Could you throw some more light on this?


Well, か is still a particle even in it's normal role. There's different kinds of particles - case-marking like を・は・が・へ・で, sentence final particles like わ・よ・か・ね, and so on.

I'm not sure what it is in this case but it's often used like,
彼が来るかどうか分かりません - I don't know whether or not he'll come.
Putting か after a verbal clause lets you talk about 'if (something)' so 'whether (something)'. These are usually called 'embedded questions' if you want to look for more thorough explanations and examples.

Why is ない present

Why is ない present here(かもしれない)?How to translate this literally?
The link "See also だろう" is not active.


If you look at it literally,
買うかもしれない(he might buy it) is verb-買う, particle か making it 'uncertain', も for contrast or emphasis, and しれない "don't know".
So it looks like by ordinary grammar rules this should mean, 'I don't even know if he'll buy it', but of course, we -don't- read it by normal grammar rules, we read it as the set expression meaning 'He may buy it.'

Even though the root is from 知る 'to know' and seems like a phrase vary particular to the speaker's frame of reference... it isn't. Not at all. It simply means 'maybe' and is frequently used in textbooks and newspapers to describe situations with uncertain outcomes.

Anyway, if it -wasn't- negative -> 買うかもしる -> which might mean 'I even know if he'll buy it' except that I don't think anyone would ever use this phrase, even if they wanted to say something like that. Anyway, this non-negative phrase has no uncertainty. It's just vague.

(All that said ... this answer is not really going to be useful to you. Just memorize that かもしれない is a way to say 'maybe').