how do I express "might [verb]" when using the the verb as an attributive (adjective)?
  • I know that one can append "darou" or "kamo shirenai" to verbs to express that the action might occur. However, can I do this when using the verb as an attributive which modifies a noun?

    For example, I'd like to say "Restore what little faith which may have become lost".
    And so, I thought to write it as:

    見失われていた かもしれない 少ない信頼 を 戻せ。

    But here I'm attempting to use "見失われていた かもしれない" as an attributive verb (verbal phrase, actually).
    Is this allowed? Or, if so, is it awkward sounding?

    Your help is appreciated.

    This example raises a secondary question. As you can see, I've tried to use a passive form of 見失う because I am uncertain as to whether the noun which an attributive verb modifies is to be treated as a subject or an object. If it is considered a subject (as in saying "the faith which was lost (by someone)"), then I figured a passive verb was necessary. If it could be treated as an object (as in saying "the faith which you lost"), then I would have used the active form, 見失う. Of course, I realize that if I use the past progressive (-te ita), then the whole question may become moot, as I think the verb then becomes stative ("the faith which has become lost"). Wow, this is getting messy.
  • If the faith hasn't been lost, how can it be restored?

    Also, faith in what?
  • Indeed, quite a strange sentence in English.

    However, regarding your question:
    To express something that might occur as an attributive, I'd say use the ~そうな form.
    to use your sentence as an example:


    The translation itself is, quite frankly, pretty awkward, so you might want to rethink that. My (perhaps equally awkard) translation would be:


    I get rid of 少ない (little) and put もう in front of 消え去れそう (which to me sounds better than 見失う, but I'm sure there's a better verb for this) for emphasis.

    Also, I ignore the ' have become lost ' past-tense thing because I don't understand it.

    I'm terribly unsure about 信頼, though. 信頼性 might be better... I don't know...

    Feel free to correct me if anyone thinks I'm wrong about something.
  • The problem, I suppose, is in the English idiomatic expression 'may have'.
    More literally, I probably should have phrased this as,

    --- Restore any/whatever faith which you have lost sight of.
    --- Restore any/whatever faith which has been lost.

    If I choose どんな to convey the meaning of 'any', then we might have:

    --- 見失われた どんな 信頼 を 戻せ
    --- which was lost any faith restore

    or, to use IDen's verb,

    --- 消え去った どんな 信頼 を 戻せ
    --- which has vanished any faith restore

    The context of this, which I probably should have mentioned
    from the start, is a song lyric for thinking people:

    --- "Lay bare your heart.
    --- Induce the will of love.
    --- To restore what little faith
    --- that you may have lost."

    which I'm thinking would go something like this:

    消え去った どんな 信頼 を 戻しょう 為に
    心 を 摘発し、愛の意志 を 引き起こせ。

  • 消えそうな信頼を引き戻すため、

    It'd do.

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