Murphy’s Law In Japanese!

There is an immutable law often felt more strongly than gravity called Murphy’s Law. If you have ever wondered how to say this law in Japanese, well, here you go:


Japanese: 失敗する可能性のあるものは、失敗する。
Romaji: shippai suru kanousei no aru mono wa, shippai suru
Lit. meaning: failing + possibility’s + something + fails
“Something that has a chance to fail, fails.”

失敗する shippai suru – to fail, to make a mistake, to blunder
可能性 kanousei – possibility
no – ‘s (possessive)
あるもの aru mono – thing that exists, something

For Beginners:
Let’s take a look at parsing this phrase:失敗 する 可能性 の あるもの はSometimes it is helpful to start at the end and work our way back.

  • The main topic of a sentence is followed by は. So we look at what directly proceeds the は and find あるもの (something (ある exists もの thing)):
    失敗 する 可能性 の あるもの は
  • The の means something is modifying あるもの. That something is:
    失敗 する 可能性 shippai suru kanousei
    失敗 fail する to do (suru verb) 可能性 possibility
  • Putting this all together we learn that あるもの means ‘something that has the possibility to fail.’

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