This is a follow up to How to construct potential form for adjectives

I'd like to know how to say "can be x" where x is an adjective, in a casual way. For example with a friend, this seems a little stiff: "敬語凄い長い可能性があるね。” ("Keigo can be really long.") Isn't there a casual term more relevant for this situation? かもしれない doesn't seem relevant as I'm not expressing doubt.

  • 4
    can you write what you wanted to express in english as well please?
    – yadokari
    Feb 27, 2013 at 5:35
  • Were you trying to say "keigo (敬語) can be really long"?
    – user1478
    Feb 27, 2013 at 12:03
  • 1
    I've never really thought about a "potential form for adjectives" before and this is just my instinct so I'll put it as a comment but... what about something like ~長くなったりするよね or ~ときもあるよね?
    – Robin
    Feb 27, 2013 at 15:34
  • Yes, I just wanted to say that keigo can be really long. I guess "can" has a ton of uses in English and trying to wrap them all up in a "potential form" is not productive. I think ~ときもあるよね is a good way to express what I'm trying to say. I guess this question is resolved then, but I'm not really sure how to mark it as such other than deleting it.
    – HAL
    Feb 28, 2013 at 22:04
  • You could also use 〜こと(は・が・も)ある.
    – istrasci
    Mar 1, 2013 at 15:49

1 Answer 1


Your original sentence sounds better as


I guess that means that in Japanese it sounds more natural to say

Keigo can get very long.

rather than

Keigo can be very long.

To make that less formal, you could try to omit 可能性, i.e.

Keigo gets really long (sometimes).

Other ways of saying the same thing (plagiarised from @istrasci) would include

Sometimes keigo is very long.


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