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Watashi-wa Gray-san-no an-ga ii-to omoimasu

by Akemi Tanahashi and Hitomi Tashiro

Watashi-wa Gray-san-no an-ga ii-to omoimasu. (I think Ms. Gray’s idea is good.)

Situation 1: Mr. Okubo is talking with his staff members.

大久保: この件について、みんなどう思いますか。

三田: 私は、KT社に新しい製品を提案するというグレイさんの案がいいと思います。

Okubo: Kono ken-ni tsuite, minna dō omoimasu-ka?

Mita: Watashi-wa KT-sha-ni atarashii seihin-wo teian-suru-to-iu Gray-san-no an-ga ii-to omoimasu.

Okubo: What do you think about this matter?

Mita: I think Ms. Gray’s idea to suggest the new product to KT Co. is good.

Today, we introduce the proper usage of 思(おも)う and 思っている, which both mean “think.” There are some points to consider when using the verb of thought, 思う. When the speaker shows their opinion or a personal or subjective thought, Xと思う is used. X is the plain form of a verb, i-adjective, na-adjective or noun phrase/clause. わたし or ぼく(I) is often omitted when the speaker is the subject of the sentence, and we should be careful not to misunderstand who the subject is. Example:お父(とう)さんはきょう早(はや)く帰(かえ)ってくると思(おも)うよ (I think Dad will come home early today). When the speaker had the thought X for a long time, and has a strong insistence or assertion to X, Xと思っている is used as in 日本(にほん)に来(き)てよかったと思(おも)っています (I’ve been thinking that it’s good that I came to Japan).

Situation 2: Continued from Situation 1.

大久保: でも、KT社の担当者は今までの製品でいいと思っているそうだよ。

グレイ: では、私がその方に直接お会いして、新しい製品について説明しましょうか。

Okubo: Demo, KT-sha-no tantōsha-wa ima-made-no seihin-de ii-to omotte-iru-sō-da-yo.

Gray: Dewa, watashi-ga sono kata-ni chokusetsu o-ai-shite, atarashii seihin-ni tsuite setsumei-shimashō-ka?

Okubo: But, the person in charge of KT Co. thinks that the earlier product is OK.

Gray: In that case, should I meet that person directly, and explain the new product?

When the subject of the sentence is not the speaker, i.e., someone else, Xと思っている is used, instead of Xと思う. Because it is someone else’s thought, expressions such as んです that gives explanations, そうです (I heard) or ようです (it seems) often come after 思っている. Example: ホンさんは東京の地下鉄は複雑だと思っているそうです (I heard that Mr. Hon thinks that the subway in Tokyo is complicated).

Bonus Dialogue: Mr. and Mrs. Okubo are talking about their son’s academic progress.

父: 最近(さいきん)、光男(みつお)の成績(せいせき)はどうなってる?

母: あいかわらずよくないわね。あの子(こ)は塾(じゅく)か予備校(よびこう)に行(い)ったほうがいいと思(おも)うけど。

父: そうだなあ。それで、光男に聞(き)いてみたか。

母: うん。でも、光男は行かなくてもいいと思っているのよ。今(いま)のままでだいじょうぶだと思っているみたい。

父: じゃ、無理(むり)に行かせるのはよくないかなあ。あの年頃(としごろ)の子(こ)どもに無理に何(なに)かをさせると、反抗(はんこう)して言(い)うことをきかなくなると思うよ。

母: でも、行かせなかったら、ほんとうに何もしないと思うの。部屋(へや)にいるときは、寝(ね)ているかゲームをしていて、勉強(べんきょう)していることはめったにないんだから。

父: まあ、そのうちやる気(き)が出(で)てくるんじゃないか。それまで待(ま)ったほうがいいと思うよ。

母: もう、父親(ちちおや)までそんなにのんびりしたことを言うなんて! そういうところが似(に)ちゃったのね。

Father: How is Mitsuo doing in school recently?

Mother: Not as well as before. I think he should go to cram school or prep school.

Father: Is that right? So, did you ask him about it?

Mother: Yeah. He thinks that he doesn’t have to go to one. It seems he thinks things are OK at this rate.

Father: Then, it may not be good to force him. I think if we make a kid his age to do something, he’ll rebel.

Mother: But, I think he’ll just do nothing if we don’t do anything about it. When he’s in his room, he usually sleeps or plays video games, and I seldom see him study.

Father: Well, he’ll become motivated someday. I think we should wait until then.

Mother: Oh, how can you say such a carefree thing! He takes after you in that way.