Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 8: 13/18


Hardly possible, Cannot be, Highly unlikely, Improbable


Verb + はず + が + ない
[い]Adjective + はず + が + ない
[な]Adjective + + はず + が + ない
Noun + + はず + が + ない


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About はずがない

Like はず, coming from the kanji (はず), which suggests that something is 'bound' to be true, はずがない suggests that something is 'not bound' to be true. This expression is usually translated as 'hardly possible', 'improbable', or 'unlikely', but in reality, it is a bit weaker than these, and translates more literally to '(A) is not the only possibility'.
As はずがない (a combination of (はず), the case-marking particle , and the い-Adjective ない) is a phrase that starts with a noun, it may be used after any word that could usually connect with a noun.
  • 1時間(じかん)(はや)くに(いえ)()から(おく)はずがない
    Because I left the house an hour early, it is improbable that I will be late. (That I am bound to be late is not true)
  • この(はこ)(おも)はずがない
    It is hardly possible that this box is heavy. (It is not the case that this box is bound to be heavy)
  • サリー(いえ)立派(りっぱ)はずがない
    It is highly unlikely that Sally's house is splendid. (That Sally's house is sure to be splendid is not the case)
  • あそこ(ひと)トムはずがない
    It is highly unlikely that the person over there is Tom.
There is a big difference in nuance between ないはず 'bound not to', and はずがない 'not bound to'. ないはず strongly negates the (A) statement, and expresses the speaker's opinion that it is almost definitely not true. はずがない on the other hand, simply suggests that (A) being almost 100% true is not the case.
  • (かれ)(くるま)(たか)ないはず
    His car would not be expensive. (His car is bound to not be that expensive)
  • (かれ)(くるま)(たか)はずがない
    It is hardly possible that his car is expensive. (That his car is bound to be expensive is not true)





    It is hardly possible for it to snow in the summer.


    Because that building is so old, it is hardly possible that it is a hospital.


    Famous people are popular so it seems hardly possible for them to be lonely.


    It is highly unlikely that that is your bag.


    Since it's a boy's room, it is highly unlikely that it is clean.

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はずがない – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (4 in total)

  • CroAniki


    Capture727×435 30.7 KB

    Even the Tae Ki...

  • Fuga


    Hey @CroAniki !

    When ない is used as to negate a verb, it is considered as a verb (食べない、飲まない), but when it is used as the negative conjugation of ある, it is considered as a い-adjective (寒くない、寒くはない、味がない).

    There are several ways that you can see if the ない used is a verb or an adjective. If you can replace the ない with a ぬ, it is a verb. If it follows an adjective, は, が, or a も, it is an adjective!

    I hope this helps!

  • CroAniki


    Woah! This feels like secret back-end information (but it’s probably something I should’ve consolidated waaay before), thanks heaps!

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