To express that you ‘think’ something in Japanese, the common expression と思（おも）う
is regularly used. As you can probably guess, this is just a combination of the particle と
, plus the う-Verb
can be used after any verb, い-Adjective
, or noun, but will require だ
after a noun or な-Adjective
Sorry, I think I'm going to be a little late.
I think the way you said that was harsh.
I think that person looks pretty.
I think this is French.
Although this structure usually requires だ
after nouns and な-Adjectives
, it is often omitted in casual speech.
If you want to express what somebody else is thinking, と思（おも）っている
will be used. This is due to と思（おも）う
having a sense of ‘permanence’, and thus not something that the speaker could know about another person. と思（おも）っている
can also be used to express your own thoughts when they are currently happening.
James thinks he is smart.
I am thinking that I want to buy a new motorcycle next year.