In the sentence "そうですと思います", is です making the sentence grammatically incorrect? If so, why not in the sentence "「そうです」と言った" making it incorrect? Thanks in advance! Isn't it like "I think it probably is so." in a very very humble way?

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    I think that in the second case you're quoting what someone else said, so you're not altering whenever that person said. The same is not true in the first sentence, so You need to use the proper grammar strucutre for that. You're talking about two different grammars, therefore, as almost always is, 2 different behaviors in the language. – Felipe Chaves de Oliveira Feb 7 '18 at 13:50
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    The first sentence is grammatically incorrect (repetition of -masu form). I see neither an indirect quote in Japanese nor an attempt to provide one in English. What is it that you want to say? – BJCUAI Feb 7 '18 at 14:34
  • I meant whatever, not whenever – Felipe Chaves de Oliveira Feb 7 '18 at 15:22
  • そうですといった and そうですと思います. They are both indirect quotes I think? If I didn’t repeat what would happen? そうですと思いる? – Salih Furkan Akkurt Feb 7 '18 at 17:56
  • Watch out for the dictionary form of 思う. – mamster Feb 7 '18 at 18:54

Generally, です/ます before と is allowed when you use direct speech, i.e., when you quote someone's statement without changing it. Note that, however, brackets are optional in Japanese even when you use direct speech, as long as who said it was clear from the context or the choice of personal pronouns. The following sentences are all fine.

  • 彼女は「あなたが好きです」と言った。
    She said "I love you." (typical direct speech)
  • 彼女はあなたが好きですと言った。
    She said "I love you." (direct speech with brackets omitted)
  • 彼女は俺が好きだと言った。
    She said she loves me. (typical indirect speech; です should not be used)

Likewise, そうですと言った (without brackets) is totally fine if someone actually said そうです out loud.

Next, you cannot directly quote someone's thoughts, and you don't use polite form when you think something within yourself. This means you should not use ます/です with 思う/考える/etc regardless of who thought it, and regardless of whether there are brackets. A rule of thumb is that "~ますと思う" and "~ですと思う" are almost always incorrect. As a rare exception, if you really feel you "said" something within yourself, ~ですと may appear.

  • 心の中で、お金持ちになりたいですと神様に願った。
    I prayed to God within myself, "I want to be rich, please".

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