A : この音楽、ご存知でしょう。
B : ええ、どこかで聞いたように思ったんですが。

I think the ように思う together with んですが implies uncertainty in the speaker's thoughts, but I'm not sure whether I grasped the concept or not. It seems like ように思う and と思う are the same grammatically but different in nuance or the like.

What does ように思う exactly mean?

A : あれ、宿題を忘れたんですか。
B : ええ、________ように思ったんですが。

I'm not sure which one is more appropriate to fill in the blank (my own answers)

かばんに入れた or 家に忘れた

Following the first example, the latter is more suitable? I think there are better answers.

A : 私のペンを知りませんか。
B : さっき、________ように思いますが。

This one is in present tense, I hope there are no differences between 思った and 思う in this context.

Are there? Maybe like a realization that caused a change in mind?

  • With my English ability, I can't understand what's your question, but 宿題を忘れたんですか?ええ、家に忘れたように思ったんですが is "You forgot your homework? Yes. I thought I might leave it home, though".
    – user4092
    Sep 14, 2018 at 1:50
  • どこかで聞いた means "I heard that from somewhere", どこかで聞いたように思う means "I think I heard that from somewhere", so どこかで聞いたように思った means "I thought I heard that from somewhere".
    – DXV
    Sep 14, 2018 at 4:15
  • 3
    @user4092 I think the main point is to ask the difference between ように思う and と思う. Sep 14, 2018 at 6:42

2 Answers 2


ように思った or と思った are synonymous (the former somehow feels more indirect, but they are the same, after all) and, combined with のだが, mean that what you have thought is paradoxical to the current situation.

When it comes to your example,

A : あれ、宿題を忘れたんですか。
B : ええ、かばんに入れたように思ったんですが

It expresses a paradoxical situation where you thought you put it into your bag but it's not found there.

In present tense, you can interpret it as "it seems" or "I think". (As for the last question, the one that works well with さっき (just before) is かばんに入れた.)


According to "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar", page 547, ように is the adverbial form of ようだ。 ようだ is "an auxiliary na-type adjective which expresses the likelihood or the likeness of something or someone". It can be translated as: look like, look as if, be like, appear, seem.

It appears that Mr. Sugiyama is going to America.

Mr. Smith speaks Japanese like a Japanese.

Also, the site below lists several expressions to indicate likelihood:

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