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If you want to state what you think you can put と思います at the end of a sentence. However I noticed that sometimes you're supposed to put だ before と思います so that it becomes だと思います, and sometimes you're not. How do you know when to put だ before と思います and when to leave it out?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The と (to) of と思います works like the quotes in english. So the part before と must be a valid sentence.

美しいと思います

yes

美しいだと思います

no, because 美しいだ is not a valid sentence

美しいんだと思います

yes (very strong feeling)

キレイだと思います

yes

キレイと思います

yes

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1  
You need だ after キレイ –  Lukman Jun 4 '11 at 14:49
    
I would like to see some kind of explanation rather than "yes" or "no". What about verbs? Nouns? –  repecmps Jun 4 '11 at 15:42
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キレイと思います is perfectly fine Japanese, ask any native or look for google. –  Uberto Jun 4 '11 at 18:31
    
@repecmps the point is that the previous phase must be a valid Japanese phrase (verbal, nouns etc.), something that you believe/are not very sure about. The only exception I can think now is something です that cannot express a doubt. –  Uberto Jun 4 '11 at 18:34
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I think it's important for us to know that きれい, being a ~na adjetive, it should be followed by です/だ (even if people don't used it). –  daniel tomio Sep 17 '11 at 4:36

Each time you can write のです then you can write のだ.

Then you can combine this (using と) with a variety of verbs including: 思う、信じる、言える。。。

Here is what should be your thinking process when building a sentence:

  • "This is not correct." (less formal, more blunt):

    正しくない。 (tadashikunai)

  • "This is not correct.":

    正しくないです。 (tadashikunai desu)

  • "I think this is not correct.":

    正しくないと思います。 (tadashikunai to omoimasu)

  • "This is not correct." (attenuating with の):

    正しくないのです。 (tadashikunai no desu)

  • "I think this is not correct." (with の, the sentence you're asking about):

    正しくないのだと思います。(tadashikunai no da to omoimasu)

  • "I think this is not correct." (spoken form):

    正しくないんだと思います。(tadashikunai n da to omoimasu)

As a short explanation, I wrote の = attenuation but this is not completely true. Depending on the context it can be used to emphasize the action that appears before の, to make your point...etc. Most of the time it is used in sentences like:

コンビニ探してるんですけど。。。(隣りにありますか?)

You can also use だと思います if there is a noun or anything that is not a verb before.

ネコです。->ネコだと思います。

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1  
だと思います doesn't work with 難しい. I don't understand why from reading your explanation. –  language hacker Jun 4 '11 at 10:05
3  
You don't use だ with any i-adjectives (難しい, 高い, さびしい etc). –  nevan king Jun 4 '11 at 10:18

Don't think of the だ as a part of it. 「だと思う」 is just 「と思う」 stuck to the end of a sentence that happened to end in だ.

The only time you might need to add an extra だ is if you use it as a colloquial-ish stand-alone reply in the same way as 「だね。」 and whatnot.

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heys btw what do you mean by this?: The only time you might need to add an extra だ is if you use it as a colloquial-ish stand-alone reply in the same way as 「だね。」 and whatnot. –  Pacerier Jun 24 '11 at 18:51
    
@Pacerier: You can "reply" to statements by saying things like 「だね。」 or 「だと思うな。」, which is all grammatically wrong but language is like that. I guess you could imagine a 「そう」 at the beginning of the sentence if you want to. –  Matti Virkkunen Jun 25 '11 at 0:42
    
ok got it =D –  Pacerier Jun 25 '11 at 10:13

From Tae Kim's Guide To Japanese @ http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/complete/verb_phrase :

A verb clause can be phrased by adding 「と」 to the end of the clause. For verb clauses that end in an plain noun or na-adjective, we must add 「だ」.

So 「だ」 needs to be added before 「と思う」 if the last word in the clause we want to quote is a noun or na-adjective. Some examples of mine:

試験のことは大丈夫だと思うけどね。
I'll be fine in the exam, I think.

先生のお嬢さんはきれいだと思いますよ。
Teacher's daughter is pretty, I think.

間違いのは相手の方だと思うんだよ。
The person that made a mistake is the other party, I think.

If the last word is a verb or an adjective, you skip the 「だ」:

少し高いと思ったから買いませんでした。
I thought it is a bit expensive so I did not buy it.

少し高いけどやっぱり買おうと思いますよ。
It is a bit expensive but I think I am going to buy it anyway.

There is one condition where you also skip the 「だ」 before a quotative 「と」, that is if you are quoting a name or a term, for example:

私は「ルクマン」と言います。
I am called Lukman.

あの方はこの辺で「赤鬼」と呼ばれています。
That person is being called "Red Devil" around this area.

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btw according to your answer きれいと思います should be wrong, but Uberto above claims that it's acceptable.. i'm wondering what are your thoughts on this issue? –  Pacerier Jun 25 '11 at 10:13

きれい is a な-Adjective and not a い-Adjective.

Therefore, it should be: きれいだと思います。

  • な-Adjective+ だ と思います

    日本語の勉強は大変だと思います。 I think Japanese study is tough.

  • い-Adjective と思います

    日本語の勉強はおもしろいと思います。 I think Japanese study is interesting.

  • Noun+ だ と思います

    あの人はセンターの学生だと思います。 I think that person is a student at the centre.

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