I tried, but I came up with either:

  1. 信じる(~よう(vol.)) + とする(~ていた(prog. past)) + だけ + かもしれない。
  2. 信じよう + として + いただける(stem) + かもしれない。

I highly doubt that second one is true, because かもしれない "takes" dictionary or past forms, but I am nit sure what だけ would mean in this sentence.

2 Answers 2



Pulling it apart

Let's break this down.


In turn, this phrase is:

  • 信じよう
    The volitional of 信じる.

  • The particle.
  • して
    する in the conjunctive ~て form.
  • いた
    いる in the past tense / completed aspect.

The main meaning here is "had been trying to believe". The construction [VERB: volitional]とする parses out to "try to [VERB]".


"Only" or "just".


In turn, this is:

  • Question particle, also used in certain kinds of coordinating clauses.

  • Inclusive particle: "even, also"
  • 知【し】れない
    知【し】る in the potential negative form.

The main meaning of the construction ~かもしれない is "I can't know [for sure] if ~", used idiomatically to mean "it might be ~".

Putting it back together

Literally then, we have:

believe [VOL] was doing only might be
→ was trying to believe only might be

Putting that into sensible English:

It might only be that [someone] was trying to believe

  • 1
    Very specific explanation. Thank you very much. I understood most of this sentence out of hand. Just とする and だけ threw me off. Thanks for explaining.
    – SkillGG
    Apr 22, 2019 at 19:23

It's the first one. Simply put, the second one doesn't make any sense. I can't come up with any kind of reasonable explanation for why something would be written that way, nor have I ever seen the stem of いただける used as a noun.

Frankly only after reading this question did I even realize that there were dictionary entries for いただける specifically, since it comes from the potential form of いただく.

The first one, on the other hand, pretty clearly means something like

Maybe (I) was just trying to believe it

Though the topic is omitted and could consequently could be anyone, obviously including people other than the speaker. I just default to I.

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