Think about how to use think


I am thinking to go to London next summer. ✗

I am thinking in going to London next summer. ✗

I am thinking about/of going to London next summer.


So what's the difference between "think of" and "think about"?

Sometimes, like in the above example, they can be used interchangeably.



"think of" is used when you think for a few seconds or you imagine something.
  • When I hear this song, I think of my ex.
  • Can you think of five countries that begin with the letter "S"?
  • I can't think of his name right now. Oh, my memory is getting worse and worse.
"think of" is also you used to ask opinions.
  • What do you think of our new teacher?
  • Have you read his latest book? What did you think of it?
  • What do you think of my new haircut?

Lyrics:

Yes it shows.

No I can forget tomorrow
When I think of all my sorrow
When I had you there
But then I let you go

And now it's only fair
that I should let you know
what you should know

I can't live
if living is without you
I can't live
I can't give any more





When you "think about" something, you are considering it for a longer time.
  • I'm thinking about looking for a new job.
  • Have you thought about what you're going to do when you leave university?
  • The unions are thinking about whether to accept the offer.
  • You look very serious. What are you thinking about?

Lyrics:

I just can't get you out of my head
Boy, your lovin' is all I think about
I just can't get you out of my head
Boy, it's more than I dare to think about



So you could say:
  • I'm thinking of/about moving house.
The difference is subtle. Simply "think about" is longer.




Many Spanish students use "think to" or "think in" for the above examples. This is wrong.

 However, after thinking about it :D, you can use both in other contexts. Look at the following examples.
  • When I speak in English, I always think in Spanish. (when using a language)
  • Sometimes I think to myself, "This blog is a waste of time". (when you think about something but don't share it with anyone)
  • He's so rude. He didn't think to tell me that he had changed his mind. (when something doesn't even enter your head)

Lyrics:

And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world



Comments

Montse said…
Hi, Graham. I have read this article. Really interesting. I hope I don't forget it.
Graham said…
Hi Montse,

I think that the most important thing to remember is that think followed by "to" is probably not the right construction.