I am going to

Express future actions with つもり

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KanjiVocabularyI am going to



Trust, Request

Climb up, Ascend




Intention, Plan

Country, State


This year




To rely on, To depend on, To count on


To climb, To go up


To read, To predict

I am going to


When we first learned about verbs, we learned that non-past tense verbs can cover future actions. In this lesson we will discuss another grammar point, つもり, which can be used for future actions. We will also learn the difference between つもり and ようとおも, which was covered in the previous lesson.

つもりです comes after plain affirmative and plain negative forms of verbs and expresses the speaker's will and intention about future actions. Let's take a look at some example sentences below:
  • 今日きょうほんをたくさんむつもりです。
  • I am planning to read my book a lot today.
  • 今年ことし自分じぶんくにかえらないつもりです。
  • I am planning not to go back to my own country this year.

The expression つもりです is very similar to just using the non-past polite form of verbs or ようとおもいます. The sentences below also show the speaker's intention about future events:

  • 今日きょうほんをたくさんもうとおもいます。
  • I am thinking about reading my book a lot today.
  • 今年ことし自分じぶんくにかえりません。
  • I will not go back to my country this year.

The difference is that つもりです can only be used for plans that the speaker has set in advance, but not for plans that they have decided just then. Non-past affirmative forms and ようとおも can be used for both set plans and impulse decisions.

Q: Do you have any plans for this summer?

  • A: やまのぼります。
  • A: I will climb the mountain.
  • A: やまのぼるつもりです。
  • A: I am planing to climb the mountain.
  • A: やまのぼろうとおもいます。
  • A: I am thinking to climb the mountain.

In the example conversation above, all the forms are appropriate, as they are talking about a planned future event. Whereas in the conversation below, つもりです can not be used because it is about the immediate future action that the speaker decides just then.

  • Q: We are going out for a movie now. Do you want to come with us too?
    • A: わたしきます。
    • A: I will come too.
  • A: わたしこうとおもいます。
  • A: I will come too.

Expressing someone else's will

Until now, we discussed that つもりです can be used to express the speaker’s will and intention. When someone else's intention is clear, つもりです can be used as well.

  • ケンは彼女かのじょたよるつもりです。
  • Ken is planning to rely on his girlfriend.
  • 花子はなこ明日あしたやまのぼるので、学校がっこうないつもりです。
  • Hanako is planning not to come to school, because she is going to climb the mountain.
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