How do I ask questions about someone's intention like "do you plan on coming back?" In Japanese?

  • 2
    Welcome to JLU! Straight translation questions are usually closed as off-topic. You could improve this question by adding your own tries at translating. You are welcome to ask these questions in chat, though.
    – Earthliŋ
    Jun 6, 2013 at 4:15

2 Answers 2


There are couple of forms to express intentions at least. I guess this three does not cover all story, but they are quite common.

  1. Volitional form と思{おも}っています (or 思{おも}います) - This one is "I think I am going to" version.
  2. Plain form よていです - This one is "I plan to" version.
  3. Plain form つもりです - This one is also "I am going to" but there's more certainty to it. As if speaking person is really into it.

Volitional form creation rules. (See http://tangorin.com/ dictionary for verbs conjugation table.)

  • U-verbs: ~u → ~ou (よむ → よもう, かえる → かえろう, いく → いこう, かう → かおう, たつ → たとう)
  • RU-verbs: ~る → ~よう (たべる → たべよう, ねる → ねよう)
  • exceptions: する → しよう, くる → こよう

If you'd like to ask someone about his intentions you just add か at the end as in any other sentence.

  • この本{ほん}を読{よ}もうと思{おも}っています。 - I'm going to read this book. (Literally: I am thinking to go.)
  • この本{ほん}を読{よ}もうと思{おも}っていますか。 - Are you going to read this book? (Literally: Are you thinking to go?)
  • 買{か}い物{もの}に行{い}くよていです。 - I am going to go shopping. (Literally: I plan to.)
  • 買{か}い物{もの}に行{い}くよていですか。 - Are you going to go shopping? (As above, literally: Are you planning to?)
  • 空手{からて}を習{なら}うつもりです。 - I am going to learn karate. (Firm statement, high level of certainty.)
  • 空手{からて}を習{なら}うつもりですか。 - Are you going to learn karate? (Can be rude in some circumstances. Like, someone may get the feeling that you're questioning his intention.)
  • 3
    Allow me to nitpick with your last example. I think the nuance is not so much "pushing to do sth." but rather "questioning the intention".
    – Earthliŋ
    Jun 8, 2013 at 14:16
  • You may be right. Edited.
    – JohnDoe
    Jun 8, 2013 at 22:55

The relevant vocabulary you need is つもり. It expresses intention.

  • また来るつもりだ (plan on coming back (literally it reads "again"))
  • 帰るつもりだ (intend to return (home))
  • 戻るつもりだ (intend to go back)

Then change the sentence to a question, either by dropping だ and adding a questioning tone, or by using ですか

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