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I've gathered that と思う means to think about but isn't it a little redundant to add the みたい?

彼らに聞いてみたいと思います。

The みたい adds the sense of looking like or seeming but so does 思う so I don't quite understand the combination! Any thoughts?

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1 Answer 1

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You've gotten the みたい part wrong. What you are seeing is a subsidiary verb (~て)みる, which means "to try doing something (and see what happens)". See: What is the difference between "verb+て+みる" and "verb+(よ)う+とする"? みたい meaning "to seem / look like" never follows a te-form.

  • 聞く "to ask"
  • 聞いてみる "to try asking"
  • 聞いてみたい "to want to try asking"

彼らに聞いてみたいと思います。
(very literally) I think I want to try asking them.
I think I'm going to ask them (and see if that can solve our problem).

You may be still wondering if ~たい and と思う are similar and thus redundant, but it's a common way to say one's plan or wish. See: 〜たいと思う -- What does this mean? and Different ways to show intention to do something

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