It can’t be snowing.

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Senior Member
British Official English
I was taught that "It can’t be snowing." is 눈이 올 리가 없어요."
what if I say 눈이 올 수도 없어요. does that also make sense and is it natural?
  • ouuugg

    Korean -Korea
    It sounds totally natural. There's nothing wrong with grammar in the sentence, but I've never heard someone say this sentence. Due to 도 of 올 수도, which means "also, too, or either", this sentence may be said in a very limited context. And this context is not likely to be given in real life but maybe in literature works, I guess.
    Last edited:


    New Member
    '눈이 올 수도 없어요' may be used in the weather that is impossible to snow.

    For example, if you are planning a trip with your friend and if your friend worries what if it snows,
    눈오면 어떡하지?
    이런 날씨에는 눈이 올수도 없어

    may be correct.
    If you exclude '도' it makes more sense and used more .
    '눈이 올리 없어'


    눈이 올 리가 없어요 is the most natural.:tick: Not 눈이 올 수도 없어요:cross: in any above cases.

    The above explanation and examples are unnatural to me as Korean.

    If you wanna change a little, it's applicable as 눈이 올 수가 없어요.:tick:

    "눈이 올 수도 없어요." is only acceptable when referring to 2 events, conditions, or situations.

    I.e. 비가 올 수도 눈이 올 수도 없어요. :tick:
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    If 'It can't be snowing.' means 눈이 올 리가 없어요.

    For me to say, '눈이 올 수도 없어요.' would be
    It cannot even snow.

    (In a weather like this, it cannot be raining, not even snowing.)


    Senior Member
    The question is somewhat misleading.
    Although OP seems to be asking the difference between "수" vs "리", but the existence of "-도" in one sentence but not in another might confuse people.
    The correct comparison should be "눈이 올 리가 없어요" vs "눈이 올 수가 없어요" unless i'm mistaken.

    Both "수" or "리" is used to describe possible outcome based on existing premise.
    Latter is more generally used to describe when the premise and conclusion have direct logical weather.
    For example, if it's sunny and summer, there is no way it's going to snow.
    Hence "오늘 같이 해가 쨍쨍한 여름 날에 눈이 올 리가 없어요".
    So it is generally used to describe most reasonable/logical outcome.

    However sometimes you wish to describe some possible outcome not necessarily in a direct logical manner.
    It's more or less logical, but there are missing links to describe the deduction process.
    For example, when kids are grow up, they are bound to get hurt.
    Maybe because they are careless, likes to run around, etc, but whatever the direct reason is it can just happens.
    (When describing unavoidable outcome, this expression often conveys a minor nuance of resignation)
    "애들이 크다 보면 다칠 수도 있지 뭐"
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