5

'と思います' is usually used when saying what you think/your assumptions, that much I know, but is it possible to alter it so that you can say what others are thinking? For an example, how would you say, 'Mary thinks the stars are beautiful'?

  • 1
    Just precise the subject : "Hoshi ga kirei da to Mary ga omotte imasu" – Chewie Feb 26 '18 at 11:39
7

Japanese is a language in which expressing others' feelings, thoughts, desires, etc. is done considerably more discreetly than expressing one's own.

It is 100% natural to say:

「私{わたし}は、星{ほし}はきれいだと思{おも}います。」

but it is not natural at all for a native speaker to say:

「田中{たなか}さんは、星はきれいだと思います。」

even if Tanaka has directly told the speaker that he (Tanaka) thinks that the stars are beautiful.

「思います」 is reserved for the speaker/writer; You cannot use it when the subject of the verb is another person. The same principle is applicable to other words like 「ほしい」、「したい」、「怖{こわ}い」, etc.

One could say instead:

「田中さんは、星はきれいだと思っています。」

If Tanaka has directly told you so. And you might say:

「田中さんは、星はきれいだと思っているようです。」

if the information has been obtained via a third person.

All this might sound strange to you, but you will need to get used to the idea. As a Japanese-speaker, I felt very strange, too, when encountering a sentence like "My father thinks I am crazy." in my English textbook a few years ago in junior high school and so did just about all of my classmates because that sentence made very little sense to us.

You might want to read:

When to use 欲しがる instead of 欲しい

Translation of 泳ぎたがっている

  • is Garu used only for ほしい and たい? 思ってがってるis incorrect? – Felipe Oliveira Feb 26 '18 at 16:32
  • just correcting myself, I actually know that you can use garu with many things, but can I use it with 思う? – Felipe Oliveira Feb 26 '18 at 16:37
  • 1
    I would recommend that you ask this question separately as a new post. – BJCUAI Feb 26 '18 at 17:27
  • 1
    ん? なんかサラっとサバ読んだ? a few decades ago の間違いじ((殴 – Chocolate Feb 27 '18 at 0:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.