The question:

映画が好きなので、時間とお金が _ 限り見に行っている。

Both "許す" and "許せる" are offered as choices, and the answer is "許す".

Is it because "時間とお金" are impersonal, so the potential form "許せる" would not be appropriate here?

1 Answer 1


Do you have a reason for thinking the potential form should be correct?

I think the answer is no deeper than, that's just what people say. The potential form would be grammatical but unnatural. Just like in English, you would naturally say "if time permits" but saying "if time is able to permit" would sound really weird.

  • Sure. I just saw a note in this lesson about the usage of 限り (which is what the question is about) that "動詞につく場合は、でいる形や可能動詞などにつくことが多い". So I supposed the 可能動詞 here would fit more. I guess this shouldn't be applied blindly then.
    – xji
    Apr 14, 2020 at 10:14
  • So it is gramatically possible to use the potential form with impersonal objects, it's just that it normally doesn't make sense to do so?
    – xji
    Apr 14, 2020 at 10:17
  • Yes. I think it is safe to say that the potential form cannot be used with inanimate subjects. Apr 14, 2020 at 11:11

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