For example, if I wanted to say:

"I thought it would be difficult." (Didn't attempt it, thought it seemed difficult)

Is there a way to translate this directly to japanese or am I limited to:

「難しいと思った」(Attempted it and thought it was difficult)?

  • 1
    The modal "would" has a myriad of different grammatical functions and usages in English. So maybe it would make more sense to restrict the question title to the specifc context you've given?
    – Eddie Kal
    Jan 8, 2021 at 23:47
  • @EddieKal True.. maybe "I thought it seemed difficult" would be more appropriate? Jan 9, 2021 at 0:05

1 Answer 1


Yes, we'd normally translate it as:

難しいだろうと思った。 I thought it would be difficult.


難しいと思った。 I thought it was difficult.
難しいと思う。 I think it is difficult.
難しいだろうと思う。 I think it will be difficult.

"I thought it seemed difficult."

We'd usually translate it as 「難しそうだと思った。」 Compare:

難しそうだ。 It seems difficult.
難しそうだと思う。 I think it seems difficult.

  • @62626368616e 「意味ある」って?
    – Eddie Kal
    Jan 9, 2021 at 6:55

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