Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 8: 10/22

or ・ possibly・maybe・perhaps・or possibly

Verb + + あるいは
[い]Adjective + + あるいは
[な]Adjective + + あるいは
Noun + () + あるいは

あるいは + Phrase + かもしれない
Verb + + あるいは
[い]Adjective + + あるいは
[な]Adjective + + あるいは
Noun + () + あるいは

あるいは + Phrase + かもしれません
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使用域 硬い
あるいは is a construction in Japanese that is used as a 接続語(せつぞくご) (conjunction). It usually appears after statements that have been marked with the 副助詞(ふくじょし) (adverbial particle) か. あるいは may be loosely translated as ‘possibly’, ‘maybe, or ‘or’.
  • 運動(うんどう)させるかあるいは餌(えさ)減(へ)らしてください
    Please make them exercise or possibly lessen the amount of food.
  • パソコン動作(どうさ)遅(おそ)いかあるいは電源(でんげん)点(つ)かなくなった場合(ばあい)は、私達(わたしたち)直(なお)します。
    In the event that the computer gets slow or doesn't turn on, we will fix it.
  • 有名(ゆうめい)かあるいは綺麗(きれい)であれ誰(だれ)でも入(はい)れるらしい
    I heard that if you are famous or maybe beautiful, anyone can get in.
  • 土曜日(どようび)かあるいは日曜日(にちようび)までには終(お)わらせておきます。
    I will try to have it finished by either Saturday or possibly Sunday.
Although usually being treated as a single word, あるいは is actually a combination of the 連体形(れんたいけい) (attributive form) of 或(あ)る, a verb meaning ‘a certain’, the 接尾辞(せつびじ) (suffix character) い (used for making い-Adjectives), and the 副助詞(ふくじょし) (adverbial particle) は. Due to this, the literal meaning of あるいは is just ‘another possibility’, as it highlights a certain something existing within the same area/category as (A).
  • 牛乳(ぎゅうにゅう)あるいはチーズ使(つか)われている料理(りょうり)は食(た)べられません
    I can't eat anything that uses milk, or another possibility is cheese.
  • 月曜日(げつようび)あるいは火曜日(かようび)新(あたら)しい生徒(せいと)来(き)ます。
    A new student will come on either Monday, or another possibility is Tuesday.
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If it is Monday or Tuesday, I can attend.
Let's observe some plants or bugs.
Whether it is sunny or cloudy, let's go to the festival.