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Arabic Made Easy: 4 Ways to Express Possibility


Have you ever wondered how to express possibility in Arabic?

In this post, we will learn different ways to say “It’s possible” in Arabic through real-life situations and examples. We will also look at other similar structures in Arabic and understand them in different contexts. In the end, we will provide you with exercises to put what you learned into practice and ensure a complete understanding of the new Arabic phrases.

Are you ready?

Whenever you’d like to indicate to someone the possibility of an action, you can use the phrase “مِنَ المُمْكن أن” which translates to “It’s possible to” in English. The word “مُمْكِن” in Arabic means “possible”, and the preposition “مِنَ” translates to the impersonal “it” in English. 


Take the following examples: 

Phrase Number 1: يُمْكِن

It’s possible to … من الممكن أن …
Examples: أمثلة:
It’s possible to achieve your goals. من الممكن أن تحقق أهدافك.
It’s possible to learn a new language. من الممكن أن تتعلّم لغةً جديدةً.
It’s possible to become a doctor. من الممكن أن تصبح طبيبًا.
It’s possible to leave early today. من الممكن أن تغادر باكرًا اليوم.


It is worth noting that the expression “من الممكن أن” requires the use of a present verb after it. In the above examples, we use the present form of the verbs: “تحقق”  – “ تتعلم” – “تصبح” – “تغادر” 

A variation of the noun “مُمْكن” can give us a similar structure in Arabic. For example, we can use the verb “يُمْكن” which can translate into a more direct sentence in English. Notice the following examples:


It/We can يُمْكن …
We can attend the conference on Friday. يُمْكننا أن نحضر المؤتمر يوم الجمعة.
The situation can change at any moment.  يُمكن أن تتغيّر الأوضاع في أيّ لحظة.
We can adapt to the changes in the market by diversifying our products.  يمكننا أن نتأقلم مع التغيرات في السوق من خلال تنويع منتجاتنا.

These expressions are usually used to give permission, to indicate an action is probable, or to predict an event that is likely to happen. The different uses of these phrases are highlighted in the following examples:


Use English sentence Arabic sentence
Giving permission It’s possible to leave early today. من الممكن أن تغادر باكرًا اليوم.
Prediction of an event The situation can change at any moment.  يُمكن أن تتغيّر الأوضاع في أيّ لحظة.
Indicating an action is probable It’s possible to become a doctor. من الممكن أن تصبح طبيبًا.

Another phrase to talk about “possibility” is “من السهل” which translates to “It’s easy to ..” in English. This phrase indicates the ease with which something can happen, so it also implies the possibility of something. The root word “سَهْلٌ” is an adjective that means “easy”.   Let’s look at the following examples:

Phrase Number 2: مِنَ السَّهْل 

It’s easy to … من السّهل …
Examples: أمثلة:
It’s easy to forget new words. من السّهل نسيان الكلمات الجديدة.
It’s easy to find a job in Cairo. من السّهل العثور على وظيفةٍ في القاهرة.
It’s easy to make new friends. من السّهل تكوين صداقاتٍ جديدةٍ.
It’s easy to forget someone’s name if you don’t use it frequently.  من السّهل نسيان اسم أحدهم إذا لم تكن تستخدمه باستمرار.


Notice that after this phrase, we use a noun in Arabic. In the above sentences, we used “نسيان” – “العثور” – تكوين” and they are translated to “Forgetting” – “Finding” – “Making” respectively.  As is clear in the English examples, the noun in Arabic is sometimes translated to “infinitive with to” in English. 

The third phrase we are going to learn today is “من الطبيعي أن” and it also expresses the possibility of events because they happen naturally or due to the ease with which they happen. Notice the following examples:


Phrase Number 3: مِنَ الطّبيعي أَن 

It’s normal to … من الطّبيعي أن …
Examples: أمثلة:
It’s normal to make mistakes sometimes. من الطّبيعي أن نرتكب أخطاءً في بعض الأحيان.
It’s normal to need help from others sometimes. من الطّبيعي أن تحتاج إلى مساعدةٍ من الآخرين أحيانًا.
It’s normal to feel sad when a good book ends. من الطّبيعي أن تشعر بالحزن عند الانتهاء من قراءة كتابٍ جيد.
It’s normal to feel nervous before a big presentation.  من الطّبيعي أن تشعر بالتّوتر قبل إلقاء عرض تقديمي هامّ.

Now, let’s look at this phrase in context and see how it can be used in a real-life conversation.

Bilal and Layla are colleagues preparing for a big presentation and they have the following conversation:


Bilal: Are you ready for tomorrow’s presentation? 

بلال: هل أنتِ مستعدّة للعرض التقديمي الذي ستقدمينه غدًا؟ 

Layla: I worked hard all day yesterday, but I’m a bit worried. 

ليلى: عملت عليه بجدٍ طوال يوم أمس لكني قلقة بعض الشيء.

Bilal: It’s normal to feel nervous before a big presentation but stay calm, and you’ll do great.

بلال: من الطبيعي أن تشعري بالتوتر قبل إلقاء عرض تقديمي هامّ.

Layla: You’re right. Thank you very much.

ليلى: أنت محقٌّ، شكرًا جزيلًا.


The fourth phrase we’re going to learn today is “أستطيع أن” which indicates the possibility of something happening because of having a certain ability. The word “أستطيع” is a singular verb, the noun of which “استطاعة” translates to “ability.” Let’s look at the following examples:

Phrase Number 4: أَسْتَطيعُ أَن 

I can … أستطيع أن …
Examples: أمثلة:
I can go to the match tonight. أستطيع أن أذهب إلى المباراة الليلة.
I can finally find time to learn Arabic. أخيرًا أستطيع أن أجد بعض الوقت لتعلُّم اللغة العربية.
I can learn from my mistakes. أستطيع أن أتعلّم من أخطائي.


For example, in the first sentence, “أستطيع أن أذهب إلى المباراة الليلة” we have the implication that the speaker has the ability to go to the match because maybe he/she has some free time. In other words, it is now possible for him/her to go. Like the first phrase, after using “أستطيع أن” we need to use a present verb in Arabic, such as أتعلم and أذهب in the above examples. 


We have to pay attention to something very important when using the fourth structure, which is the fact that this is only shown in examples with the singular 1st person pronoun “أستطيع” and it could be used with both male and female. For example, with the plural 1st person pronoun, we say “نستطيع أن”. 


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Dania Ghraoui
Dania has worked as a language instructor and translator for almost 10 years. She has a special interest in the Arabic language and learning methods.
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