Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 7: 21/21


I think ... isn't it?, It might be that..., Don't you agree?


Verb + (1) + ではない(2)だろう

[い]Adjective + (1) + ではない(2)だろう

Noun + (なの(3))+ ではない(2)だろう

[な]Adjective + (なの(3))+ ではない(2)だろう

(2) じゃない
(3) なん


  • Register


  • 使用域


About のではないだろうか

のではないだろうか is a fairly long grammar pattern in Japanese that is used when one wants to express their opinion indirectly, in the form of a rhetorical question. Common translations include 'I think it's (A), isn't it?', and 'it might be that (A)'. However, being that this is just a combination of の, ではない 'isn't', だろう 'probably', and か, the literal meaning is simply 'is it probably not that it's (A)'. Just like in English, the elongation of the phrase and not saying anything with certainty makes it sound more modest.
のではないだろうか may be seen following verbs and い-Adjectives, or な-Adjectives and nouns when preceded with な. Additionally, でしょう may replace だろう.
  • 先輩(せんぱい)(つか)れているのじゃないだろうか
    I think that our senpai is tired, don't you think?
  • 息子(むすこ)がおもちゃをじーっとみている。あのおもちゃが()しいのじゃないだろうか
    Our son is staring at a toy. I think he wants that toy, don't you agree?
  • 長谷川(はせがわ)さんは田中(たなか)さんのことが()きなのではないでしょうか
    I think that Hasegawa-san likes Tanaka-san, don't you agree?
  • あの(ひと)右腕(みぎうで)(はい)ってるタトゥー、防犯(ぼうはん)カメラに(うつ)っていたのと(まった)(おな)じです。あの(ひと)犯人(はんにん)のではないでしょうか
    The tattoo on that person's right arm is exactly the same as the one seen on the security camera. I think that he is the perpetrator, don't you agree?
This phrase can also be used when seeking agreement from the listener, or when mildly trying to persuade them that your way of thinking may be correct.




    I think that he is probably amazed, isn't he? (don't you agree?)


    I think a serious stance towards one's work is admired, isn't it? (don't you agree?)


    I think it was pretty bold/shameless to make a request like this, don't you agree? (isn't it?)


    If I am not mistaken, I think that store has its regular holiday on Wednesday, doesn't it? (don't you agree?)


    I think the regular price is 10,000 yen, isn't it? It has become considerably cheaper. (don't you agree?)

  • Get more example sentences!

    Premium users get access to 12 example sentences on all Grammar Points.

Self-Study Sentences

Study your own way!

Add sentences and study them alongside Bunpro sentences.

のではないだろうか – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (3 in total)

  • wrt7MameLZE33wlmpCAV


    The structure details for this grammar point

    Noun + (なの(3))+ ではない(2)(だろう)か
    (2) じゃない
    (3) なん

    indicate nouns can be inflected with なの・なん, but this doesn’t appear to be reflected in the examples, nor accepted in any of the answers I’ve encountered so far. I already reported this previously, but thought I should post here as well to bring attention to this discrepancy.

  • Fuga


    Hey @wrt7MameLZE33wlmpCAV !

    Sorry for the late response! We have just fixed this so that those answers are accepted!

  • OctopusEvening


    This still appears to be the case or am I doing something wrong?

Got questions about のではないだろうか? Join us to discuss, ask, and learn together!

Join the Discussion