499 - つもりだ (under the [false] impression)

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JLPT N3: つもりだ (under the [false] impression)

Many of you will recall that we just looked at つもり in an N4 lesson.

In that lesson, つもり was used to say things like "intend to" or "planning to." Like this:

らいねん こども が うまれる ので、 ちかぢか くるま を かう つもり です。
The baby is going to be born next year, so I’m planning to buy a car soon.
Literally: “next year + child + が + have (a child) be born + ので (=because), + soon / before long + car + を + buy + つもり + です.”

The つもり that we're looking at today is a bit different... and a bit more fun (for me, at least).

In this lesson, we're using つもり to say "under the [mistaken] impression that..."

For example, we can make sentences like this:

かれ は もう ろくじゅっさい なのに、 まだまだ わかい つもり で いる。
He’s already sixty, but he’s under the impression that he’s still young.
Literally: “he + は + already + sixty + なのに (=although), + still + young + つもり + でいる (=is).”

One of my fancy grammar books (specifically, this one) describes this usage as, "Someone has certain intention, but actuality or result of actual action differ."

I think the word "intention" is a little misleading here. I think I would have put "Someone has a certain intention or impression, but actuality or result of actual action differ."

After all, the person in question in the above sentence does not "intend" to be young; he is under the impression that he's still young; he (mistakenly) believes that he is still young.

However, we will not always be able to translate our phrases with つもり into the phrase "under the impression."

Consider this phrase, for example:

えいが が はじまる まえ に けいたい を マナーモード に した つもり が、 なっていなかった。
I thought I had put my phone on silent before the movie started, but I hadn't [it wasn't].
Literally: “movie + が + start + before + に + mobile phone + を + silent mode (=manner mode) + に + did + つもり + が, + wasn’t in it (lit. wasn’t becoming [it]).”

Back in the day, I found that learning to use つもり in sentences like this one was a great boost to my Japanese fluency. There are so many times, after all, when I think I've done something... and then it turns out that I haven't. ^^

So we have:

[Thing I believed to be the case] つもり、[reality that is or was different].

[Put my phone on silent] つもり、[but it wasn't on silent].
→ I thought I had put my phone on silent, but I hadn't [it wasn't].

The order might be flipped, too, as it was in our first example:

[Although he is 60 years old] [he's still young] つもり.
→ Although he's 60 years old, he's under the impression that he's still young.

Well then, moving on into my least favorite section of all lessons...

👷 Construction 👷

Placing this つもり into sentences is not too complicated on the surface:

Plain Form Wordつもり(だ)

To give an example, we saw:

わかい つもり
under the impression that (one is) young.
Literally: “young + つもり”

Since plain form words can attach to つもり, we can just attach the i-adjective 若い to it as is.

Pretty simple, yeah? Not so fast, yo.

When our Plain Form Word is a NOUN, we'll add a after it. And for na-Adjectives, we add a after them. For example, later we'll see:

じょうだん の つもり
as a joke; intended to be a joke
Literally: “joke + の + つもり”
Note: In this case, "intention" is a pretty good word for つもり, I suppose.

I should also mention that VERBS will always be in the plain past tense when coming before this usage of つもり:

V たつもり(だ)

A plain past tense VERB is still a Plain Form Word, but I thought it was easier to just separate it for our breakdowns, since present tense verbs, for example, will not be used. Note that this is different than the variety of verbs that can come before the other usage of つもり which we saw in this lesson.

Yikes. On to example town...

じょゆう に なった つもり で、 どうどう と えんぎ して ください。
Please imagine that you're a professional actress, and give a grand performance.
Literally: “actress + に + became + つもり + で + magnificent / grand + と + acting / performance + do (and) + please.”

Here we have an acting coach or director telling, for example, a girl in a high school play to put herself under the impression that she is a (professional) actress so that she can give a magnificent performance.

Now, a conversation that will be all too familiar for some of you guys out there...

きょう は すごく きれい だ ね。
You look so beautiful today.
Literally: “today + は + amazingly + pretty + だね.”

なに それ? いつも は ブス って こと?
What’s that supposed to mean? Usually I look ugly?
Literally: “what + that? + always + は + ugly woman + って + こと?”

ごめん ね。 そんな つもり で いった んじゃない よ。
Sorry. I didn’t mean for it to sound like that.
Literally: “sorry + ね. + that kind of + つもり + で + said + んじゃない (=it's not the case) + よ.”

Technically そんな is a na-adjective. It's kind of a special na-adjective, though, in that the な is built into it, which is why we do NOT say: そんなつもり.

This next one is a somewhat idiomatic example:

しゃちょう に ようじ を たのむ なんて、 なにさま の つもり だ。
Who do you think you are, asking the (company) president to do your errands?
Literally: “company president + に + errands + を + request + なんて, + a somebody / an important person / what-sama + の + つもり + だ.”

The phrase 何様のつもりだ!or "Who do you think you are!" sounds like it would be fun to use... but (thankfully?) I've never had a chance to use it. Maybe I don't get angry at people enough...

Last but not least, we have...

じょうだん の つもり で しんだ ふり を したら、 こっぴどく しかれれた。
I pretended to be dead as a joke, and she [he] got really mad at me.
Literally: “joke + の + つもり + で + died + when I pretended, + harshly + was scolded.”

As they say, "It's just a prank, bro!"

Personally I'm not a big fan of pranks or any cruel jokes. I was traumatized as a child when my mom told me we were going to Disneyland... as an April Fool's joke!

I'll never let it go.

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