I just learned a phrase つもりです which can be used to express plan to do something. For example, 来月、日本へ旅行に行くつもりです and 私は結婚しないつもりだ.

But what confuses me is the structure of the sentence, 日本へ旅行に行く is basically describing the verb 行く. つもり is an noun, so the structure is verb + noun + です, but for most sentences I have learned so far, the core structure can be divided into verb [+ます/ません/ました..] or noun + だ/です/.... This 行くつもりです looks weird.

So my question is, is this a specific structure or my understanding of basic structures is wrong?

  • 1
    Did you mean つり rather than つり? Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 8:42
  • Ooops. It should be つもり. Thanks!
    – lincr
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 8:47
  • 3
    It's not a specific structure, you probably didn't learn yet the fundamental structure of "relative clause". japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/48844/…
    – Arzar
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 8:50
  • 1
    @ThomasPetit I know some relative clause structure like 日本へ行ったこと, so here 行く is a relative clause of つもり? Sounds reasonable..
    – lincr
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 8:58
  • 1
    This kind of structure is very common, and even more complicated structures are common. Not everything is です and ます。
    – hasen
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


Relative clauses in Japanese are much simpler than those in English, so noun-based expressions in the form verb + noun is extremely common in Japanese.

  • お腹が空いているはずです。
    you must be hungry
  • 言われるままに支払った。
    I paid as I was told to.
  • 旅行に行くとき
    when [someone] travels
  • 本を読んだため
    because [someone] read the book

These weird "nouns" are collectively called 形式名詞 ("formal noun"). つもり is one of them.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .