Volitional-Form VERB + と思う as “I think I will VERB”
As per its definition, the Volitional-Form is used to express one’s volition, or intention, to perform a certain action. When the Volitional-Form is used with the expression と思う, it expresses a developing thought to perform said certain action. This grammar construct is very much similar to the Plain-Form VERB + つもり grammar construct and only really differs in that it is a lighter expression of one’s intention.
As is usual with the Japanese language, this kind of grammar construct is not commonly used in the third-person because it is can be construed as rude to express another person’s thoughts and/or intentions for them. As such, this construct should only be used in the third-person when the subject is someone very close to the speaker. As covered in a previous lesson, the third-person form for the verb 思う changes to 思っている, or, 思っています.
Additionally, this grammar construct is rarely used in the Negative-Form. When needing to express an intention to not perform a certain action, the Negative-Form of the Plain-Form VERB + つもり grammar construct is much more often used.
Natsu, umi ni ikou to omou.
(I think I’ll go to the beach this summer.)
Kyou no renshuu wa sugoku kibishikatta desukara ashita uchi de relax shiyou to omoimasu.
(Today’s practice was really tough, so I think I’ll relax at home all day tomorrow.)
Rainen, kanojo wa watashi to issho ni Paris ni ikou to omotte iru.
(My girlfriend’s thinking of going to Paris with me next year.)