Does 思うと思う make you confused?

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Jun 5, 2011 15:16 Japanese_language 主語 「思う」
If you hear that somebody says 「そう思うと思う。」(this is a full sentence.), are you confused? This is usually very clear for Japanese speakers, because it is clear what the subjects are. There are, I think, usually two possibilities. (If you think of another [others?], please tell me. I will update this.)

彼はそう思うと私は思う。(I think that he/she/they think so.)
私ならそう思うと私は思う。(I think that I would think so in that situation.)

Instead, something like the following is unnatural.
He thinks that I think so.
He thinks that she thinks so.
And so on.

This suggests that in many situations, a specific subject is expected and it is not written. Moreover, when you write sentences in Japanese, one of the safe ways is to uniform your subject in some clauses or sentences as much as possible. I guess that common subjects are very limited.

See also: (一度冥界に入ると、ゼウスの許しがなければ) (国境の長いトンネルを抜けると雪国であった。)

By the way, if you want to say, “He thinks that I think so,” it should be something like this:
彼は私がそう思うと思うだろう。 (However, this sounds like a poor translation.)
The reason why you need だろう is that you are the speaker and you must guess his thought. Instead, 彼はそう思う (He thinks so) sounds like he always thinks so. In addition, the following is incomprehensible in what the subject is.

See also: (大意は取れる。 / 大意は取れると思う。)