I understand that the construction Aつもりで means "with the intention of doing A". However, I've seen in several fonts that when A is a verb, it can be both in the た form or the dictionary (る) form. I've also asked a native Japanese person about it, but she couldn't explain the difference to me, but rather just confirm that in some example sentences I have, only one of the possibilities makes sense. So there must be a difference. The examples are:

○ 父は家を建てるつもりで、土地を買いました。

✕ 父は家を建てたつもりで、土地を買いました。

"My father bought a piece of land with the intention of building a house."

○ 旅行に行ったつもりでお金を貯めている。

○ 旅行に行くつもりでお金を貯めている。

"Saving money with the intention of going on a trip."

I think that this answer is related to my problem, but I can't make sense of "with imagination as if you had bought it", either.

Thank you in advance!


3 Answers 3


I think your understanding - "with the intention of doing A" is for Vるつもりで.

I can think 2 ways to use 'Vたつもりで'...

1 - "pretending having done V" もう勝ったつもりでたたかう。 fight as if you have won already

2 - "having done V (but not necessarily completed at the satisfactory standard)"

ここに鍵をおいたつもりだけど、見つからない。 I put my key here but I can't find it. (I think I put the key here but am not sure if I really did)

有名になったつもりですか? Do you think you became famous? (but you are really not)

I hope this helps!


Vた + つもりで means "Even if you didn't do something in reality, you think you did it as if you did it in reality."

For example, アメリカ人になったつもりで、英語を話した. This sentence means "The speaker is not an American, but he spoke English thinking of himself as having become an American."

  • もしかして、"thinking of himself as (having become) American"?
    – Kaz
    Jun 22, 2020 at 17:57
  • Yes, thank you for teaching. Jun 23, 2020 at 3:52

た form = Happened in the past (perfect participle)

る form = Happening in the future

So the first example would translate to "My father bought the land with the intention of having built the house", which doesn't make sense since no house is there currently.

The second example could conceivably be interpreted to mean "He is saving money (for a different purpose) as if having already taken the trip". It still wouldn't make sense if he was saving for the trip, but could pass if the conversation had mentioned saving for something else. Hence the つもり貯金 in the link you gave:

B: 欲しい物があっても買わないで、それを買ったつもりで貯金することです。

B: Instead of buying the item you want, you are contributing to savings as if having already bought the item.

-- Starfox

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