I wrote ブラジルの国立博物館の火事のことを聞いて、とても悲しいと思います

A Japanese person changed it to とても悲しいです

It seems that 悲しいと思います has a nuance not suitable here, but they didn't tell me why. Can someone explain it to me? Thank you.

Edit: And can I assume that other expressions of feelings, like 嬉しい, 怒っている and 驚いた, shouldn't be followed by と思う, either, otherwise it will convey a different nuance?

  • I agree with the answer by matai and upvoted it. Just guessing, maybe you were thinking of 悲しく思う?悲しく思う simply means "I feel sad". Just FYI. – DXV Sep 7 '18 at 1:20

In English, we tend to use the expression "I think" even in cases like this, in which the sadness of the situation is not up for question, when we are trying to soften the sentence and seek confirmation from others - whereas in Japanese, the "equivalent" と思う seems to be used more so when expressing an opinion or intention. If I were trying to achieve what I assume to be your intended meaning (you thinking the situation is sad), I would do the same as the person who changed your sentence - and then add a ね to express confirmation: 「とても悲しいですね。」

As for the other expressions in your edit, the same difference holds, but that doesn't mean that you can never add と思う to an expression of feeling. A good example of this is when stating how you perceive others' emotions. Let's say you broke a house rule: (母が)怒っていると思います。 "I think (my mom is) angry." I would just watch out for objective facts/observations and stick with a です・だ + ね.

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