つもり Japanese Grammar Lesson
Grammar Type: Noun
Essential Meaning: Intend to / Be convinced that
- Verb informal nonpast + つもりだ
- E.g. 話すつもりだ [Intend to speak]
- E.g. 食べるつもりだ [Intend to eat]
- Verb Past + つもりだ
- E.g. 話したつもりだ [Convinced that X spoke]
- E.g. 食べたつもりだ [Convinced that X ate]
- い-Adjective informal nonpast + つもりだ
- E.g. 強いつもりだ [Convinced that X is strong]
- な-Adjective Stem + なつもりだ
- E.g. 元気なつもりだ [Convinced that X is healthy]
- Noun + のつもりだ
- E.g. 先生のつもりだ [Intend to be a teacher / Convinced that X is a teacher]
- つもり is used to convey one’s intention or conviction. Generally, つもり indicates an intention when paired with a nonpast verb (i.e. “I intend to do X”) and a conviction when paired with a past tense verb or with an adjective (i.e. “I am convinced that X is Y.“) When paired with a noun, the interpretation of つもり depends on context (“I intend for X to be a Y” or “I am convinced that X is Y“). つもり is a dependent noun, so it can only appear with a preceding modifier.
- E.g. A: 行くつもりですか。B: はい、そのつもりです。 [A: Do you intend to go? B: Yes, that is my intention.]
- E.g. *A: 行くつもりですか。B: はい、つもりです。[A: Do you intend to go? B: Yes, intention.] Because つもり is a dependent noun, it can’t be used without a modifier.
- Because つもり indicates a personal conviction or intention, the subject of phrases that contain つもりだ must be the first person or someone psychologically close to the speaker. However in the context of a question, the 2nd person (or something psychologically close to the speaker) is typically used as the subject.
- E.g. 僕は食べるつもりだ。[I intend to eat.]
- E.g. 友達は食べるつもりだ。[My friend intends to eat.]
- E.g. *あの人は食べるつもりだ。[That person intends to eat.] It’s ungrammatical to use つもり when the subject is a third person with whom the speaker does not empathize.
- E.g. あなたは食べるつもりですか。[Do you intend to eat?]
- E.g. ヤマダさんは食べるつもりですか。[Does Yamada-san intend to eat?]
- E.g. *僕は食べるつもりですか。[Do I intend to eat?] It doesn’t make sense to ask someone else about one’s own intentions.
- つもり can be negated by either negating the preceding verb, adjective, or copula or by negating つもり itself. The difference is that negating つもり itself implies stronger negation.
- E.g. 行かないつもりです。[I intend to not go.]
- E.g. 行くつもりはありません。[I do not intend to go.] This version comes across much stronger.
- つもり resembles はず, but the two are not interchangeable. The difference is that つもり indicates one’s will or conviction, whereas はず indicates one’s expectation.
- E.g. 行かないつもりです。[I don’t intend to go.]
- E.g. 彼は行かないはずです。[I expect that he won’t go.]
- つもり is also comparable to ようとおもう. The differences are:
- (1) ようとおもう can only replace つもりだ with a preceding verb and not with a preceding adjective.
- (2) ようとおもう signifies instantaneous / spur-of-the-moment thinking, whereas つもりだ indicates a stable conviction that persists over time.
- E.g. この車は良さそうなので買おうと思いますがいくらですか。[This car looks nice. I think I’ll buy it. How much?]
- E.g. *この車は良さそうなので買うつもりですがいくらですか。[This car looks nice and I intend to buy it. But how much is it?] This sentence is contradictory since the speaker expresses his strong intention to buy the car but also expresses reservations about the price.
- E.g. ステレオの広告を見て買おうと思ったら家内に反対された。[When I looked at the ad for the stereo I thought I would buy it, buy my wife objected to it.]
- E.g. *ステレオの広告を見て買うつもりだったら家内に反対された。[I saw the ad for the stereo and had the strong intention to buy it. But my wife objected.] This sentence is contradictory because it expresses the speaker’s strong conviction to buy the stereo, but also indicates that the speaker didn’t buy the stereo due to the wife’s objections.
私は来年結婚するつもりだ。[I intend to get married next year.]
父はまだ若いつもりだ。[My father is convinced that he is still young.]
私はよく読んだつもりだ。[I am convinced that I read it well.]
これはお礼のつもりだ。[I intend for this to be a token of my appreciation.]
僕は大学に行くつもりはない。[I don’t intend to go to university.]
あんな人にはもう会わないつもりです。[I don’t intend to meet with that kind of person any more.]
私はまだ元気なつもりだ。[I’m convinced that I’m still healthy.]
話したつもりでしたが話さなかったんですね。[I was convinced that I spoke to you, but I didn’t, did I?]
この仕事は遊びのつもりです。[This job is intended to be fun.]
それで勉強しているつもりですか。[Do you intend to study like that?]
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