Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 8: 23/23

(かんが)えられない

Unthinkable, Inconceivable, Unimaginable, Cannot think

Structure

Noun + など(1) + (かんが)えられない
Phrase + ということ(2) + (かんが)えられない

(1) なんて
(2) ことなどなんて

Details

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    一般

About 考えられない

(かんが)えられない is the negative potential form of the る - Verb (かんが)える 'to consider'. It will regularly be used after the adverbial particle など (なんか, or なんて), or any expression that nominalizes a phrase, like ということは.
(かんが)えられない is regularly translated as '(A) is unimaginable', or '(A) is unthinkable', which is quite close to the literal meaning.
  • 20年前(ねんまえ)携帯(けいたい)映画(えいが)()たりゲームなど出来(でき)るとは(かんが)えられなかったでしょう
    It was probably unthinkable that you could watch movies and play video games on your phone 20 years ago.
  • (ひと)()()すなんて(わたし)(かんが)えられない
    It is unimaginable that I would raise my hand at a person.
  • あんな(ちい)さい(ひと)相撲(すもう)ろうと(おも)ったということは(かんが)えられない
    It is unthinkable to imagine a person that small decided they wanted to do sumo.
  • (ひと)(ちが)だったことは(かんが)えられないか?
    Is it unthinkable that you misremembered the person?
Caution
While (かんが)えられない refers to the inability to think of a certain thing, (かん)えない 'to not consider', or (かんが)えていない 'to not be considering' express something that the speaker has control over. Due to this, only (かんが)えられない may be used when implying something that is unbelievable.
  • ()んだ(あと)ことなどほとんど(かんが)ない
    I don't think about what happens after dying.
  • 結婚(けっこん)した(あと)(こと)など(かんが)えていない
    I haven't thought about what happens after marrying.
  • (つま)離婚(りこん)することなど(かんが)えられない
    It is unimaginable that I would get a divorce with my wife.

Examples

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    友達(ともだち)との(はなし):「子供(こども)がそんな(むずか)しい数学(すうがく)問題(もんだい)()ということは(かん)がえられない。」

    Chat between friends: 'It is unthinkable for a child to solve such a difficult mathematical problem.'

    ブログの投稿(とうこう):「電子(でんし)なしの生活(せいかつ)(わたし)(かん)がえられない。」

    Blog post: 'Life without electronics is unimaginable for me.' (unthinkable)

    新聞(しんぶん):「(くつ)()がずに(いえ)()がることは、日本(にほん)(かん)がえられない行為(こうい)ですが、アメリカでは普通(ふつう)です。」

    Newspaper: 'Entering a house without removing your shoes is an unthinkable act in Japan, but it is normal in the USA.'

    友達(ともだち)との(はなし):「まさかあんなに真面目(まじめ)(ひと)が、(もの)(ぬす)なんて(かん)がえられない。」

    Chat between friends: 'It is absolutely inconceivable that such a serious person would do something like stealing.' (unthinkable)

    友達(ともだち)との(はなし):「昨日(きのう)まで元気(げんき)だったのに、(きゅう)()くなるなんて(かん)がえられない。」

    Chat between friends: 'Despite being healthy just yesterday, (he) suddenly died. It's something unimaginable.' (unthinkable)

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考えられない – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (2 in total)

  • MZa

    MZa

    In this grammar point, although we have the potential form of 考える we do not use the が particle but the は particle. I was wondering whether it is to use the contrastive function of the は particle.

  • Daru

    Daru

    Yeah! It marks the stop where you say: ‘All of this sentence, THAT is unthinkable.’ Good catch!

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