かもしれない is translatable as “maybe”. It expresses less probability than adding the volitional form of the auxiliary verb at the end of the sentence.
While かもしれない can be learnt as a phrase it may help to see how it is formed grammatically, especially since we’ve already covered each of the components. But first of all an example sentence:
|He might get angry if he reads this email.|
|That might be a world record!|
Note that with nouns and adjectives we do not require the auxiliary verb.
かもしれない consists of two particles, か and も, and the potential form of the verb to know, しる. Essentially, the grammar involves making a question out of the clause and saying you know don’t. The inclusive particle も adds the nuance of “also” (i.e. you can’t know if it’s also…).
|It might be dangerous.|
Literally: I can’t know if it’s also dangerous.
|If you give it a try you might enjoy it.|
|We might have learnt this vocabulary in the lesson last week.|
In casual conversation the phrase is often abbreviated to かも.
|I think I might know that person over there.|
Because the final verb in かもしれない is just the potential form of the verb しる you can change the verb ending to create the polite form.
|It’s important so you should probably explain clearly.|