Plans, Intentions, Thoughts?: つもり vs 予定 And ~ようと思う vs ~ようと思っている :Hey, ninja warriors! It’s that time of day again to pour yourself a hot mug of tea and study some Japanese! Today, we’re going to learn how to express our intentions, plans, and things we’re thinking about doing in the future by utilizing the words つもり and 予定 and the phrase ~ようと思う. Without further ado, let’s begin!

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つもり(tsumori) vs 予定(yotei)

つもり (tsumori) means “intend to.” It’s a pseudo noun that is attached to the dictionary form of the verb at the end of the sentence to express what you intend to do. It’s often accompanied by the copula だ (da) or です (desu). Take a look at some examples below.

Watashi wa 35-sai made ni kekkon suru tsumori desu.
I intend to get married by the age of 35.
Kazoku wa kotoshi no Kurisumasu wo Betonamu de sugosu tsumori da.
My family intends to spend Christmas in Vietnam this year.
Kanojo wa Toukyou ni hikkoshi suru tsumor desu.
She intends to move to Tokyo.

If you want to say what you do NOT intend to do, then you add はない to the end of つもり. つもりはない (tsumori wa nai) is used for casual exchanges, and つもりはありません (tsumori wa arimasen) is for formal. Below are some examples.

Konshuumatsu watashi wa dekake suru tsumori wa arimasen.
I don’t intend to go out this weekend.
Kare wa daigaku ni iku tsumori wa nai.
He doesn’t intend to go to college.

Now that we know how to use つもり to talk about our intentions, let’s use 予定 (yotei) in the same vein. 予定 is a noun that means “plan” in English but can also be added to the end of a sentence to convey what we are planning to do. Take a look at some of the examples below.

Takashi-san wa Orinpikku ni shutsujou suru yotei desu.
Takahashi is planning on trying out for the Olympics.
Boku wa san-ji ni tomodachi to kaimono suru yotei da.
I plan on going shopping with my friend and 3:00.
Kanojo wa kotoshi no natsu juu kiro yaseru yotei desu.
She plans on losing 10 kilograms this summer.

Likewise, if you want to express what you are NOT planning to do, you can attach 予定はない(yotei wa nai) or 予定はありません (yotei wa arimasen).

Haru wa ryokou suru yotei wa nai.
I don’t plan on traveling this spring.
Joushi wa intai suru yotei wa arimasen.
The boss isn’t planning on retiring.

~ようと思う(youtoomou) vs ~ようと思っている(youtoomotteiru)

Now that we know how to talk about our intentions and plans, let’s learn how to express what we are thinking of doing. 思う (omou) is a verb meaning “to think.” In order to say “I think I will…” you conjugate the final verb of the sentence into the volitional form (the form) and attach と思う (to omou) to the end. The particle と is used the same way here as it is used to mark a quotation: it indicates the content of the action 思う. 

Yoru-gohan wa suupu wo tsukurou to omou.
I think I’ll make soup for dinner.
Kare wa doyoubi yakyuu shiai ni ikou to omoimasu.
He thinks he’ll go to a baseball game on Saturday.
Firu wa Nihongo no bukatsu wo sanka shiyou to omou.
Phil thinks he’ll join the Japanese club.

When expressing what you think you will NOT do, you simply change 思う into the negative 思わない for casual or 思いません for formal. 

Kyou densha ni norou to omowanai.
I don’t think I’ll ride the train today.
Ima guai ga warui kara ashita shukkin shiyou to omoimasen.
I don’t feel well now, so I don’t think I’ll go to work tomorrow.

Now, if you want to convey that you are “thinking of” doing something rather than just “think,” you use the present progressive form of 思う, which is 思っている. The difference is quite subtle! You can use whichever one you want!

Gitaa wo urou to omotte iru.
I’m thinking of selling my guitar.
Dezaato wa aisu kuriimu wo tabeyou to omotte imasu.
I’m thinking of having ice cream for dessert.
Shousetsu wo kakou to omotte iru.
I’m thinking of writing a novel.

When expressing what you are NOT thinking of doing, you simply conjugate いる into the negative いない (inai) for casual and いません (imasen) for formal.

Shibaraku hikouki de ryokou shiyou to omotte imasen.
I am not thinking of traveling by airplane for a while.
Ano hoteru ni wa mata tomarou to omotte inai.
I’m not thinking I’ll stay at that hotel again.

In Summary

When you are talking about things that you intend to do, you stick つもり after the dictionary form of the verb at the end of the sentence. When talking about things that you plan to do, you use 予定 instead of つもり. They both have basically the same meaning.

When talking about what you think you’ll do in the future, conjugate the final verb of the sentence into the volitional form, add と, and then add 思う. When talking about things that you’re thinking (-ing) of doing, change 思う into the present progressive 思っている. Again, both have basically the same meaning.

Now that you know how to express your future intentions and things you’re thinking of doing, it’s time to get out there and practice! This is an easy lesson to implement into your Japanese conversation. Try it out today!  

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