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I've noticed that in the introduction to a presentation of some sort (whether it be an academic presentation or a YouTube video explaining something), the presenter will often say something along the lines of 「 … したいと思います。」 Why is this? Doesn't this give the message of "I think I want to present this"?

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It's just a very common way of saying "I'd like to ..."

An adult saying 「 … したい。」 is pretty uncommon.

See ~したいと思います Does it mean exactly as translated? I think I want to

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As far as I understand, using -と思います is a polite and respectful way of expressing your opinion (what you want to do in your example). In other words, if you don't use it, you might sound a little strong and assertive.

For example, if you say

そうだと[思]{おも}います。

It means

I think it could/might be true.

If you say

そうだ

in place of "そうです" or "そうだと[思]{おも}います", you would not sound as polite and respectful.

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  • 「そうだと思います。」は「ます」があって丁寧形なので、比較するなら「そうだ」のほうも「です」をつけて「そうです。」に揃えた方がいいような気もしますが、どうでしょう・・
    – Chocolate
    Sep 27 '16 at 8:06
  • @chocolate Thank you for your comment. I am not sure if I understood your comment, but I just edited the answer. Please feel free to edit the post if you find any mistake or inappropriate explanation.
    – Rathony
    Sep 27 '16 at 8:10

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