6

Observe the change:

彼女は行かないと思う。 "I think that she will not go"

彼女は行くまいと思う。 "She thinks that she will not go"

彼女は and と思う are conserved in the sentence, yet the person who is doing the thinking is different.

(Question 1) Is the use of the negative volitional form the direct cause of the change?

(Question 2) How do I make specific the person who is doing the thinking in each case?
I.e. How do I express "I think that she will not go" using 行くまい and "She thinks that she will not go" using 行かない?

4
  • 1
    "yet the subject is different" says who? I see a nuance, but not a change of subject.
    – Axioplase
    Nov 11, 2011 at 4:20
  • @Axioplase perhaps "subject" was the wrong word to use. What I meant was that "the person who is doing the thinking" has changed.
    – Flaw
    Nov 11, 2011 at 5:03
  • 2
    In both sentences, the subject of 思う can be either the speaker or 彼女, although it is often clear from the context. Nov 11, 2011 at 5:12
  • I don't know if it's a firm rule or not, but the Kanzen Master JLPT 2kyuu grammar book says that the subject of ~まい is , and that in third person scenarios you use ~まいと思っているらしい/~まいと思っているようだ etc.
    – cypher
    Aug 22, 2012 at 2:14

1 Answer 1

3

(Question 2) How do I make specific the person who is doing the thinking in each case? I.e. How do I express "I think that she will not go" using 行くまい and "She thinks that she will not go" using 行かない?

彼女が行くまいと(私は)思います。

and

彼女は行かないと思っている。

2
  • For 彼女は行かないと思っている, can't it also mean "I think(and am in a continued state of thinking that) she will not go"? How do I unambiguously state that she is the one doing the thinking and not anyone else?
    – Flaw
    Nov 11, 2011 at 5:07
  • @Flaw: I believe that in most cases, you wouldn't say "思っている" to express your opinion out of the box, and that it implies a change of subject. It's more usage than grammar, and is a real pain for learners of Japanese. As usual, it's a contextual issue…
    – Axioplase
    Nov 11, 2011 at 5:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .